Mar-Train duo Harrison and Johnson have final shakedown

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Gary Johnson had his first outing on the R6 MarTrain Yamaha that he will race at next week’s Vauxhall International North West 200 at Kirkistown yesterday.

The double Supersport TT winner said he was on familiar territory with the R6.

“It’s a Yamaha and I’ve ridden them before.” the Lincolnshire man said after the test.

“We made good progress today and we have made some big changes to the riding position and getting the bike set up for me.”

The 34 year old shifted to the Northern Ireland based squad after losing the Smith’s Triumph that he steered to victory in last year’s Supersport TT to Guy Martin. Johnson will partner Dean Harrison on the 600cc machine at Portrush alongside his rides on the GBMoto ZX10R Kawasaki superbike.

“The MarTrain boys have a good direction with Dean and from where I started today I have made a couple of big steps as we tried to stiffen the suspension and try to get the geometry the way we want it to be for the North West.”

Johnson tested alongside Harrison who was having his first run his Superstock R1 Yamaha. The Bradford rider rode the stocker alongside his superbike spec R1M and the R6 Yamaha, constantly jumping from one machine as he clocked up dozens of laps during the test session at the Co Down track that was cut short by heavy rain during the morning.

“Its all about fitness.” the 26 year old joked as he had his final shakedown before the North West.

“The more you ride the faster you get.You don’t learn anything sitting in the garage.”

Harrison’s stocker had only been finished the previous day.

“It isn’t as precise as the superbike but it isn’t a million miles away.” Harrison said afterwards.

The Bradford rider who has had two race outings on the R1 superbike at the Scarborough Spring Cup and the Cookstown 100, was using North West gearing at Kirkistown but said he was comfortable with the set up because of the mid range power of the new R1.

“The bike has great grunt between the corners but we don’t know if it will have enough top end at the North West.” he said.

“We won’t know that until we pull out of Mill Road roundabout and head to University during practice next Tuesday!”

Stephen Davison

By Stephen Davison

Biographer of John McGuinness & road racing's foremost writer & photographer