European experience key to Garness’ BTC domination| Christina Bulpett | MotoGP
VisionTrack’s Johnny Garness claimed the 2022 British Talent Cup in dominant style with three races of the season still to run.
Crowned on Saturday at Snetterton 119 points clear of his nearest rival, and teammate, Carter Brown, the 14-year-old went on to clinch his 12th victory from 16 races the following day - with Donington’s finale set to decide the remained of the closely matched top four.
Just two DNF’s and two further podiums denied the talented youngster a clean sweep in the results so far, with eight back-to-back wins sealing his success on the latter half of the season. While Garness’ prowess in the national championship has been clear to see, mentor and team boss Michael Laverty says the experience gained from his time in Europe has been the key to unlocking the Ilfracombe rider’s potential.
“Honestly, the British championship team has been a bit of a success story,” Laverty said on the season’s continuing celebrations. “We’ve had a one/two, we’ve had joint winners [following the first dead-heat in history with Brown at Donington Park], one-two in the championship with Johnny and Carter.
“Johnny achieved the double [his first of four in a row] with a devastating performance in Brands, just annihilated the field. Led every session throughout the weekend, qualified on pole, won both races and set a new lap record. So that just goes to show the development thanks to the Junior GP.
“In British Talent Cup you’ve got a good level of competitor but when you’re racing those extra seven rounds of the European Talent Cup alongside, you have so much track time down there,” Laverty explained. “It’s actually ridiculous how many laps you spend on the bike. They do Thursday practice, three long sessions on Thursday, Friday an extra two free practices, Saturday qualifying and then your races on Sunday. They do so many laps, in the heat, against the fastest young riders in Europe so the development process accelerates. So Johnny’s really stepped it up.
“In the ETC race in Portimao he got a penalty for waiting for a tow and had to start from the back of the grid but he came through to finish eighth, and came through lapping at the same pace as the leaders throughout. Actually with another lap or two, he may well have first stood on the podium, he was coming with such speed!
“Johnny’s got a lot of raw ability and raw speed and really took a big step forward this year. He’s taken a bigger step in one year than I expected and I do think that’s down to racing in the Spanish championship.”