Gary John­son he’s the rider

GJ won a TT last year on a Tri­umph and then suf­fered a se­vere crash a cou­ple of days later that turned his dream year on the Is­land into a night­mare. But he’s back and strong and is a se­ri­ous podium man in 2015.

Motorcycle Monthly - - Up Close And Personal -

IR: As we’re go­ing into the 2015 TT, how’s things look­ing for you – es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that last year fin­ished with you badly beaten up and in hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing a race crash. GJ: It’s been good, we’ve been do­ing a lot of work on the bikes over win­ter.

I had that crash last year at the TT and to be hon­est with you any crash at the TT is bad. What hap­pened though did hap­pen at one of the slower bits, thank God, and it’s taken a lot for me to re­cover from it but we are there now and we’ve been testing the Kawasaki out in Spain and things have been very well on it. So things are look­ing good.

The thing that ev­ery­one re­ally knew about was that I had a bro­ken shoul­der, but what peo­ple don’t know is that I broke five ver­te­braes in my spine, and part of where my spine was broke was where the nerves were that con­trol the me­chan­ics of my right arm.

So I spent two and half months with an armthat I couldn’t re­ally do any­thing with, I just put it in my pocket. And at that point I was re­ally wor­ried, like would it get bet­ter or could I even get com­pet­i­tive again on a mo­tor­cy­cle?

It was what ev­ery racer’s night­mare is. I was caught out with the weather. It was a bit greasy and it came down to prob­a­bly an in­stant, split sec­ond de­ci­sion I made that was wrong and it ul­ti­mately cost me last year’s re­main­ing TT.

So, I had a good chi­ro­prac­tor and I saw some good peo­ple and phys­ios and that and they bashed us around a bit and af­ter three months my arm started work­ing again.

IR: So, you’ve got a strong team be­hind you but this is pretty un­usual for you at the TT isn’t it? GJ: Sign­ing with Mark and the Kawasaki boys is the first time I’ve signed with a big team and been the sole fo­cus for them, you know I’ve al­ways run my own ship a bit with some great loyal spon­sors and I’ve had some good bikes but it puts a lot of stress on you while you’re do­ing stuff.

The TT is stress­ful enough with­out hav­ing to run around or­gan­is­ing ev­ery­thing for every­body and the team per­formed well be­fore but this is a new ven­ture, they’re build­ing the bikes and I just have to turn up with my leathers and do the pro­fes­sional rider thing. So, hope­fully that’s go­ing to re­lieve the ten­sion at the TT, re­lax and be able to fo­cus more.

The bike feels good and if it rides well around the TT – be­cause you never know how any bike’s go­ing to go around that place un­til you’re ac­tu­ally on the cir­cuit and fin­gers crossed it’s good and stress-free in prac­tice week. Hope­fully come Race Week I can start off like last year but avoid an ac­ci­dent.

I showed in prac­tice last year that we were strong on the Tri­umph and we were strong on the Kawasaki stocker, we strug­gled on my Su­per­bike a lit­tle bit to get it to han­dle as well as we wanted but we had strong lap times. If we can start off any­thing like we did last year I phys­i­cally feel bet­ter in my mind with the cir­cuit and I’mcon­fi­dentI’m con­fi­dent that we’ve got the same bikes and ma­chin­ery and bet­ter this year so, if we can get an in­ci­dent-free prac­tice week and roll into Race Week calm and col­lected then hope­fully we can pick some tro­phies up.

Gary has ap­peared as a disco-danc­ing farmer in Em­merdale and as a cop in the film, Keep­ing Mum, with

Pa­trick Swayze!

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