Nine years since he made his debut at the Isle of Man TT races, David Johnson was delighted to have finally won his first race on the Mountain Course when he claimed victory in Monday’s Superbike Classic TT race.
Second quickest in practice on the Alasdair Cowan Racing/Robert Burns Kawasaki to Michael Dunlop, Johnson went head to head with the Ulsterman throughout the four lap race – just as he had done in the Superstock TT race earlier this year – but came out on top when the Suzuki’s battery went flat at Hillberry two miles from home.
“I put everything into the last lap as I knew Michael had a bit of an edge over me and it was very hard work, but we got the job done,” Johnson said afterwards. “We didn’t have the best of practice weeks as we lost a lot of track time but I managed a 125mph lap in the last session and the bike worked a dream.”
Johnson trailed Dunlop by just 1.9s at the end of the first lap and although the Australian lost a bit more ground on lap two, a superior pit stop enabled him to be back in front by the time they reached Glen Helen third time around.
It was only on the final lap that Dunlop pulled away and he held a lead of more than ten seconds at the Bungalow only to come to a stop at Hillberry. Johnson eventually took the win from Derek Sheils by more than 40 seconds.
Michael had a bit more pace than me during the race but we pushed him all the way and one of the biggest battles on the big bikes is getting them to the finish. When I saw him stopped at the edge of the road, I lost the plot a bit and whilst the Superstock podium meant a lot to me, to win and stand on the top step is unreal.”
“The old bikes are hard work and I reckon the throttle is made for Hercules as they’re so much stiffer than the modern bikes but the Kawasaki never missed a beat and it’s a brilliant way to end the season.”