ASBK

Johnson and Trounson deal with the realities of racing at Willowbank

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After setting the early season alight in his debut year with KTM Shannon Johnson has had the realities of Superbike racing brought home at the third round of the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship were not much went right.
Shannon Johnson ready to go. Photo: Keith Muir
After qualifying in 22nd spot and finishing his day at Willowbank Raceway in Ipswich, Queensland with a 9th and 10th place finish, the Victorian was philosophical about his day.

Johnson's team-mate Chris Trounson faired better in the Super Stock A Class with some good results after bike Gremlins left him way down the grid in qualifying.

"Well what can you say? That‰Ûªs motorsport maybe? As you can tell by the results we didn‰Ûªt have a great weekend, I am more un happy with the fact that the guys in the team really deserve a much better result than where we are at right now as the amount of work, time, effort, and money that is going into the development right now doesn‰Ûªt equal the rewards," Johnston said.

"Having said that we improved our result from the previous round in Darwin, and from where we started our weekend to how it finished up we made giant leaps forward. Just to complete the two races was great considering a number of our competitors didn‰Ûªt, was a satisfactory result.

Thursday and Friday practice we had a number of issues that set us back, not only costing us valuable set up time but increasing the work load for the boys. Meaning we were spending more time finding and fixing rather than testing and developing.

"The thing that was most annoying for the team and I was that many of the issues were not created from wrong doing nor were they a problem with the KTM RC8R as I know firsthand that it is a great race bike, simply they are part of development against some very strong competition, along with some bad luck. Seems it doesn‰Ûªt rain it pours, I can‰Ûªt wait for it to change and pour great fortune down on us!

Saturday qualifying was a very difficult day for us; during the first session I noticed something not working right and after only completing three laps came in to the pits. Upon inspection it was something that could not be identified and fixed right away, meaning the lap time I had done in my warm up laps was my qualifying time. A time that put me in 20th position.

"With limited time between sessions we were unable to fix the problem and so we decided to use the spare bike for session two. It seemed to have picked up an electrical bug, yet again the boys worked overtime and found a single loose wire fixed it so we thought and out I went. It was an intermittent electrical error that kept cutting the bike out and I was unable to complete a full lap. Meaning that the handful of laps I did in the morning was to be my final qualifying time. I was going to need binoculars to see the starting lights from the sixth row‰Û_.

"Race one we made a half decent start, but been so far back you struggle for clean track. I tried to make as many passes as possible but simply didn‰Ûªt have the confidents or feel in the bike to push as hard as I needed to with the limited track time. I ended the race in 10th; given where we started I guess that‰Ûªs half decent. A big plus and thanks to the team was also needed as it was the first time all weekend we were able to complete a series of laps with no issues, collecting data along the way.

"Race two we made many changes, different fork, different shock, different electronic set up, and different gearing. There is no better testing than race testing the saying goes. The feeling with the bike was better and I managed to get a more consistent feel from the bike. Our lap times improved slightly and the end result also. We won‰Ûªt rest until we get to the end of the issues and end the race where I believe we should be, on the podium. Massive thanks to the team and our supporters for sticking by us. That makes a big difference to help us push on," Johnson concluded.
Chris Trounson faired better than Trounson in the Super Stock A Class. Photo: Keith Muir
Johnson's team-mate Chris Trounson faired better in the Super Stock A Class finishing with a 4-6-5 result after qualifying in 20th place.

‰ÛÏIt was an interesting weekend and a credible effort for the team on how we got through it,‰Û

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