Gary Johnson and the RAF Regular & Reserve team claimed their second top ten finish at the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races with the Lincolnshire rider taking a good eighth place in Wednesday’s Supersport 600cc race.
With superb conditions on the island, the four-lap race got underway at 10.45am and a good start by Gary saw him put in an opening lap of 124.566mph on the 675cc Triumph, which put him in eighth place less than two seconds behind Josh Brookes but only eight tenths of a second ahead of Derek McGee.
Second time around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, a better lap of 125.332mph enabled Gary to maintain his eighth place and although Brookes began to pull away from him, he extended his advantage over McGee to two seconds.
The Irishman managed to overhaul Gary on the third lap but he retired at Sarah’s Cottage on the fourth and final lap and with another lap in excess of 125mph, 125.122mph, Gary moved back up to eighth which was where he finished for his second top eight finish of the week thus winning his second silver replica.
The 37-year old had been due to contest the afternoon’s Lightweight race, also over four laps, but problems in practice meant he had to withdraw from the race, a disappointment for all concerned.
Gary Johnson: “We made some changes prior to the race, including changing the gearing, in the hope we could push on up the leaderboard, and I was pushing hard from the start. The bike still wasn’t pulling the gearing like it should have done though and I was down the order a little bit, battling for seventh and eighth. I felt like I was riding well though, hitting all my apexes, so it was a shame I was only in the 125mph bracket as I don’t think that’s the bikes’ full capability.”
“I was losing drive a little bit out of the corners and whilst I could stick with the riders in front of me through the fast, flowing stuff when we got to the lower gear corners, they were just pulling away. That all adds up over the course of a lap but we finished the race and I’m satisfied that I put 100% effort in from start to finish and full credit should go to the team as they’ve never stopped working from the moment we got here.”
Lee Hardy, Team Owner: “I’m happy Gary got another top ten finish under his belt today and although we never got to see the Triumph before we got here – which was a shame as we could have arrived in a better place – it’s another finish and another silver replica to add to Gary’s collection.”
“The bike’s been struggling a bit for power and hasn’t quite been performing as it should but we can’t grumble with eighth place and laps in excess of 125mph in what, as always, was a very competitive race. The team did a great pit stop so full credit to them as well.”
The final race takes place on Friday with the six-lap Senior due to start at 12.45pm.