Australia has produced over the years many a top calibre TT Races exponent. Over the past ten years, the Australian International road-racing giants have been twice TT winner Cameron Donald, twice British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes and 2019 Superbike Classic TT victor David Johnson. Fastest TT newcomer in 2010, Adelaide’s Johnson has since gone onto secure five top six finishes, 17 top 10 finishes and a third-place finish in the Superstock race of 2019. On Tuesday afternoon, Road Racing News enjoyed a good chat with him about his long-awaited return to real roads action. Our conversation, began with his initial thoughts about circulating again around the fabled, mythical Mountain Course. “It’s good to be back out there, it was a lot to take in on the first lap that’s for sure. Learning my way round again after three years, a lot’s changed, there’s supermarkets where there used to be trees, no trees where there used to be lots of trees. It’s just crazy, heaps of different bits, lots of different bumps you’ve got to worry about now, but it was good, glad it all went relatively smoothly.” When asked if it has been worth the wait, three years since he last competed on the most iconic of all roads courses, he stated: “Oh definitely, this has become my main race of the year, put a lot of effort into it. The bike is going well, the Alasdair Cowan Racing bike, just got to make sure it stays nice, don’t want to do too much through the week, because I want to make sure we are there for the race, able to fight.” The next topic touched upon was how does the Team ACR Kawasaki feel, compared to when last raced in 2019. Johnson stated: “Feels good, he’s found a little more out of it just with the exhausts, played around with lots of exhausts to get better torque, little more power out of it. But it’s the same bike, haven’t changed a click on the suspension, so it’s all there for to get on and ride as hard as I can and see how we go.” Johnson went onto speak about how his fitness all round is now the best it’s been, since his incident at the Oulton Park BSB meeting. “Right now, is the fittest I’ve been since I crashed, it’s good, it’s worked out right. All the ligaments and stuff which I can feel right now, my pelvis that’s the stuff that takes time to heal but we are getting there.” Looking towards TT 2023, Johnson stated that he hopes to remain with the OMG Racing squad. “I don’t want to be anywhere-else; it just depends on what the team wants to do. It’s not up to me, it’s up to them. They have been really good to me, looked after me through my injuries and also covid. So, I don’t want to go anywhere else, I’ll make that pretty public, just hopefully they keep me and can move forward.” On commentary duties at TT 2022, the Aussie ace who has sharp back home, doing rider coaching, track days, disclosed that he hopes post racing to take on more commentating roles. “I enjoyed that, not like racing, did enjoy it, better than not riding. But, not like riding though, just stamped the fact that I am not ready to finish racing yet. So, I’ll do that commentary stuff when I am ready to finish, which is a fair way down the track yet.” Photo credit: Nick Wheeler, Mark Corlett Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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