Roads: Johnson: '2017 Norton a big improvement'

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There’s no denying Norton took a big step forward with the SG5 factory racer at last year’s TT with Davo Johnson almost clocking a 131mph lap and securing a top ten result in the opening superbike race, but the Aussie reckons this year’s bike is even better after his first spin at Jurby.

With a chassis almost identical to the road going V4 Superbike Norton revealed to the world last November, Johnson says the bike is a ‘100% improvement’ when it comes to turning. 

“It’s definitely a step forward on last year’s bike,” he told us. “The chassis is a major improvement. It feels much better when turning and I could feel that from the first laps, within no time I was quicker than my best lap at Jurby last year and that was in really good conditions during the TT.”


Johnson has also noticed the benefit of the Norton team expanding to two riders this year after running a single rider effort since 2014. 

“It’s good to have a team-mate,” he said. “Even though Josh is a much different rider to me, I think we’ve both taken things from each other. It’s good to have some of his feedback as from that we could make some steps forward too. It actually made me change more with the bike, whereas normally I’m quite laid back and easy going and just ride until I find a big problem but with him there trying things, I could try them too and some of it worked.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing