By Liam Moakes 28/05 Updated: 05/06 15:25
AFTER scoring points in both races at Donington Park a fortnight earlier, Evesham-based Team JD Racing and rider Danny Johnson moved on to Snetterton in Norfolk for the latest round of the National Superstock Championship at the weekend.
This was another chance to impress in front of a large television audience in round six as Snetterton is a particular favourite for Johnson and at a recent test session at the track his lap times were very encouraging, so expectations were high for another good result.
Johnson did not disappoint either as he claimed sixth place and ten points in the championship.
Before arriving at the circuit the team had fitted a new clutch to the Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike so the initial practice sessions were important to identify and rectify any problems before qualifying started.
The clutch was working well although Johnson was unable to reach sixth gear along the straights, which was affecting his top speed.
Adjustments were made but after just a few laps Johnson returned to the pits where the team fitted a new rear sprocket.
This requires removing the rear wheel and chain, replacing the sprocket and reassembling before the rider can return to the track.
This is not an easy task when the clock is ticking away but the improvement was immediately evident as Johnson improved his lap time by almost one second and finished the session seventh quickest.
The weather continued hot and sunny for final qualifying with a track temperature of over 40 degrees so a new set of tyres were fitted and Johnson again improved his lap times until he was baulked by a group of slower riders just minutes before the end and he finished 11th quickest, which meant a start from row three on the grid.
Now happy with the bike set-up, Johnson was, however, concerned about brake fade meaning he had to momentarily take his hand off the throttle in order to adjust the brake lever which would cost valuable time during a race.
For this meeting a set of brake pads from a different manufacturer were fitted but long-term an adjuster on the left handlebar should help resolve this issue.
As the flag dropped for the start of the race Johnson got away well and for the next 14 laps he was involved in a five-rider battle for a top ten finish but, with dogged determination, he fought his way through to finish in sixth place, narrowly beating factory-supported rider Adam Jenkinson by one 100th of a second across the finish line.
More importantly he scored ten valuable points in the championship. Such was the intensity of the battle, when the bike was returned to the garage the team found scrape marks on the fairing where contact had been made with the other bikes.
The next round of the championship is in a fortnight's time at Knockhill in Scotland, another circuit where Johnson has performed well in previous visits.
NOT content with being crowned district champions, the
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