Closing in on two months since he scored his TT rostrum finish, popular Australian International Road Racer David ‘Davo’ Johnson heads into the FonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix in an extremely positive frame of mind.
Third within the Royal London 360 Superstock race of TT 2019, Johnson’s maiden TT podium placing also marked Honda Racing’s first TT rostrum finish in three years.
Enjoying working with the official Honda roads team, the Adelaide racer when reflecting upon his momentous TT 2019 tenure, candidly stated:
“I had an awesome TT and we made big improvements with the bikes. It was amazing, better than any race win I’ve ever had and I have gelled well with the team. My stocker was working perfectly.”
Going onto talk about how subtle set up changes to his stable of CBR 1000RR Fireblade SP2 Honda’s, improved his fortunes on Manx shores, he stated:
“You have to knuckle down and make things work. I get a set up and I don’t make changes until I need to and when I do I make them work. At the TT my bike was so different to what anyone had ridden in the past few years.
We went against the Honda grain and my bike was chalk and cheese compared to Hutchy’s, especially on the suspension settings. What worked for me didn’t work for other people and we will have new linkages and a swing arm for the Ulster.”
With 16 times TT winning team mate Ian Hutchinson ruled out due to requiring another leg operation, Johnson who placed third in last year’s feature Superbike race at Dundrod, will be the sole Honda Racing rider at this year’s Ulster GP.
Looking forward to his latest UGP voyage, he recently commented:
“I am looking forward to the Ulster because I will be riding bikes I am familiar with this year. When I rode for the Tyco BMW team last season I didn’t even sit on the bike before I got to Dundrod. I am also hoping the team will have a test day at Kirkistown before practice begins at the Ulster.”
Photo by Mark Corlett
Johnson went onto add about next month’s International Road Race action:
“I want good weather and dry roads this year to really enjoy riding around here. The older I am getting the faster I am going!
I’ve taken great confidence from the TT podium this year and the TT and Ulster are my favourite circuits. The two guys at the front at the moment, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison, plus Conor, are all setting the benchmark pretty high but I think I can push to be up there at the front with them.
A podium is within reach at Dundrod. It will be hard and a win would be another step but that’s what we have to work towards with a perfect set up for the bike.”
Alongside piloting Superstock/Superbike spec CBR 1000RR SP2 Fireblade machinery, Johnson’s 2019 Ulster GP expedition will also see him tackle the Supersport races on Honda’s famous CBR 600RR steed.
Perhaps underrated by some, the amiable, affable Johnson has caught the attention of many this year with his impressive performances aboard the factory supported Honda mounts, and is no question capable of contending next week for multiple UGP podium finishes.
Words by Stevie Rial, quotes provided by Stephen Davison