West and Johnson line-up for York Suzuki at 2019 Classic TT

Author: Road racing staff|TT and Roads

Team York Suzuki are again set to challenge for honours at this year’s Classic TT presented by Bennetts, having secured the talented services of Gary Johnson and Sam West for the August event.

Both Johnson and West will contest the four-lap RST Superbike Race on identically-prepared 1100cc Suzuki’s for Kevin Pearson’s York-based team.

It will be Johnson’s fourth successive year with the team and although he’s found luck in scarce supply in recent years, his undoubted pace means he’s more than capable of pushing for a podium position at the very least.

The double TT winner has recorded a best lap of 123.864mph on the striking blue and white machines and was running in third place in last year’s race before being forced to retire at the beginning of the third lap. He did, however, take fifth place in 2016.

West joins the team for the first time replacing Australian David Johnson, who competed with the team at the Classic TT between 2015 and 2018.

30-year old West needs no introduction to road race supporters though, having established himself as one of the leading privateers on the road circuits in recent years. His best finish around the Mountain Course came in last year’s RL360 Superstock TT Race, when he finished in an excellent eighth place with the Senior Race seeing him lap at just under 130mph.

His best results earlier this year, 12th and a brace of 13th’s, came in the RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock and second Monster Energy Supersport TT Races, whilst he made his debut at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts last year. Riding the Cookson Travel Suzuki, the Wilmslow rider took a fine eighth place with a fastest lap of 117.061mph.

A former racer in the 1980s, Pearson set up his own team with support from the York Suzuki Centre more than a decade ago and having supported the Post-Classic Manx Grand Prix races, he immediately contested the Classic TT when it was launched in 2013.

The following year saw the team have its best result to date, when Russ Mountford took an excellent third in the Formula One Classic TT Race. David Johnson also gave the team fourth and fifth place finishes in 2017 and 2015 respectively to further emphasise the competitiveness of both the team and the machinery.

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Misano WorldSBK: More ‘small upgrades’ for BMW says boss Muir

Author: David Miller|WorldSBK

Picture: GeeBee Images

BMW’s Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger will benefit from a couple of small upgrades to their S1000RR steeds at the Misano WorldSBK clash which boss Shaun Muir hopes will add up to more progress.

There will be no massive engine horsepower boost before, or even after, the summer break as BMW’s approach is one of gradual and measured improvement but Muir believes that selections of small upgrades working together will have the desired effect.

“No-one is going to turn up with an engine that has an extra 25bhp because that’s not the approach we are taking,” said Muir, speaking to bikesportnews.com this lunchtime.

For Misano, there is a series of small upgrades to engine, chassis and aerodynamics which should all see small gains that add up.

“If you took the bike the boys were riding in Australia and compared it to the ones they will have tomorrow, there is a world of difference.

“These next few tracks should be strong for us, especially Donington and Laguna Seca. I have a feeling that Tom could collect some podium bonuses in the next few meetings.”

Rutter and McLean team up for Ripley at 2019 Classic TT

Author: Road Racing staff|TT and Roads

Ripley Land Racing have opted for a healthy blend of youth and experience for August’s Classic TT, presented by Bennetts, having signed TT stars Michael Rutter and Adam McLean for this year’s event.

Having ridden for the team since 2014, Rutter will again campaign a 350cc Drixton Honda in the Locate.im Junior Classic TT where he will be joined by young gun McLean who will ride a 350cc AJS 7R. The Northern Ireland youngster will also contest the Bennetts Senior Classic TT on the team’s 500cc Seeley G50 previously ridden by Rutter.

Winner of this year’s SES TT Zero Race, Rutter, has enjoyed some excellent results at the Classic TT since contesting the meeting for the first time five years ago. The Midlands rider has twice won the Junior Classic TT for Ripley Land Racing, taking the honours in both 2015 and 2017, whilst he also finished a close second to Michael Dunlop in 2016.

He was leading last year’s race before a puncture halted his progress and led to eventual retirement while his fastest lap on the 350cc Honda of 104.002mph is the third quickest in the class ever behind Dunlop and Dominic Herbertson.

McLean made an excellent debut at the event last year when the 23-year old finished in a superb sixth place for the team in the Locate.im Junior Classic TT and he will be riding the same AJS that he will campaign this year.

Ripley Land Racing are staunch supporters of both the Classic TT, and the classic racing scene in general with Ian and Janet Garbett continually putting out machines of the highest quality.

In addition to the success enjoyed with Rutter, the Guildford-based team have also taken two race wins at the meeting with Chris Palmer with Cameron Donald another rider to have enjoyed some strong results on board their machines.

With Rutter and McLean signed for 2019, their intentions are clear for this year’s Classic TT, and they have a great chance of adding to their already impressive track record.

Jerez WorldSBK: Van der Mark takes win as Bautista crashes out

Author: Gordon Ritchie at Jerez|WorldSBK

Picture: GeeBee Images

Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark took his first WorldSBK win of 2019 in the third race at Jerez this afternoon, crossing the line with a three-second lead over reigning champion Jonathan Rea with Toprak Razgatlioglu in third for his second podium in as many race weekends.

But it was disaster for the Aruba Ducati team as series leader Alvaro Bautista crashed out of the race on lap two, going down unaided into turn one while Chaz Davies was nerfed out of fourth place by an errant Marco Melandri with 11 laps left to run as he tried to push past and both riders went down. The incident is under investigation by race direction.

In a race littered with spills besides that of Bautista, Alex Lowes (Yamaha) fell on his own on lap one, and shortly after that Melandri ran into Davies. Lowes and Bautista had got back on to try and score points – Lowes ending up 14th to rescue two points from a tough weekend.

Michael Rinaldi (Barni Ducati) was fourth today, passing Leon Haslam (Kawasaki ) for fifth, while Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) got the better of Tom Sykes (BMW WorldSBK) for sixth.

Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), returnee WorldSBK rider Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and BSB regular Tommy Bridewell (Team GoEleven Ducati) completed the top ten.

Click here for results

TT 2019: Johnston finally scratches seven-year itch

Author: Phil Wain on the Isle of Man|TT and Roads

Picture: Impact Images

Seven years after making his debut at the Isle of Man TT Races, Lee Johnston took his first victory when he took the chequered flag in Monday evening’s shortened Supersport race.

Having set up his own team for 2019, Ashcourt Racing, the 30-year old had made the class at this year’s TT one of his main aims and having already won at the North West 200, he saw off the considerable challenge of James Hillier to get the verdict by 3.6s.

“I’m feeling so emotional right now and it means so much to me to win a TT race,” Johnston said afterwards.

This place can be as equally as frustrating as it can be rewarding and I don’t really think I’ve done much different but I’ve got some really good people around me this year. We believe in each other and trust each other and when you go racing like we’ve done this year, it makes it all the more rewarding”

Hillier grabbed the lead initially but Johnston edged ahead for the first time at the Bungalow and an opening lap of 126.031mph gave him a two second advantage, which he doubled by the time he reached Glen Helen second time around.

However, rain had begun to fall on the west part of the circuit and Hillier brought the gap down to just 0.6s but Johnston was in determined mood and with a good run over the Mountain, his advantage was more than three seconds by the end of the second lap.

Instead of pitting for fuel though, Johnston saw the chequered flag being unfurled as race organisers made the decision to end the race early and he crossed the line instead with his second lap of 126.871mph, the fastest of the race, seeing him clinch his first TT win by 3.6s.

His previous best results were third in the 2015 Superstock and TT Zero Races with the same result coming in the latter twelve months ago.

“I knew if I could keep Peter (Hickman) in my sights, I’d be somewhere close to the front but James was riding really well and it was difficult to know how hard to push when the rain came.

When you’re in with a chance of the win though, all thoughts of backing off go out the window and you just go for it. I wasn’t actually sure if it was rain at first and wondered if it was water from the overflow bottle but when I lifted my head above the screen, the rain hit my visor.

I maybe pushed on a bit hard in the conditions but I wasn’t going to lose a TT race win because of a few spits of rain! It was a strange race to be fair and even at the end when I saw the chequered flag I wasn’t sure whether to cross the line or come into the pits.”

“The Superbike earlier in the day was a bit disappointing but after the lack of track time during practice week, I struggled with the set up of the bike whilst the wind was causing me a few issues too.

“I had a couple of moments as well so it wasn’t worth pushing any harder and 15th was the end result with the Supersport race later in the day more of a priority. I really can’t thank the team enough for everything they’ve given me. We wanted to make our mark on the Supersport class at this year’s TT and we’ve done just that.”

TT 2019: Cummins fastest, disaster for Dunlop

|Author: Road Racing staff|TT and Roads

Picture: Impact Images

Manxman Conor Cummins set the quickest Superbike lap of TT 2019 Sunday practice held in sketchy conditions this afternoonm, putting in a 128.92mph to edge out overall fastest man Dean Harrison.

Cummins, on the Milenco by Padgetts Honda Fireblade, led Silicone Kawasaki’s Harrison by a little over five seconds after the Yorkshireman was short-lapped on his final lap of 128.21.

Harrison had set fastest overall sectors from Ramsey to Cronky-ny-Mona but was brought into the pits early as the TT Zero bikes were coming up the ramp. His best lap was set at the start of the session as he broke the timing beam at 128.29mph.

It was disaster for Tyco BMW’s Michael Dunlop who broke down at the Mountain Box on his first lap and he was unable to get back to the pits for any more track time, and may have to go into the RST Superbike race with no more qualifying available, depending on tomorrow’s schedule.

Honda’s David Johnson charged into third with a late lap of 128.23mph to push veteran Michael Rutter into fourth place on a 127.55mph lap with Jamie Coward only just behind on a 127.22. James Hillier was next along, setting a 125.36 from a standing start.

Peter Hickman finally completed a lap on the Smiths BMW after suffering electronic problems on Tuesday. The lap record holder set a 125.04mph from a standing start.

Sam West ended in eighth place with john McGuinness ninth and Brian McCormack completing the top ten.

Click here for times

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