ANTHONY Johnson believes there’s still plenty to come from both he and his bike after beating the 2016 and 2017 Powerbikes champs to victory at Silverstone this weekend.
Despite being prevented from a clean sweep by reigning champion Joe Morphett, Johnson now leads the points with 14 over 2016 champ Colin Parker.
But it was Global Robots Yamaha’s Parker who took pole position by over half a second ahead of Bexhill Gearbox BMW’s Johnson and Michael O’Brien, with the ASJ Racing R1 of Morphett heading up the second row from ReactiveParts.com Yamaha’s Steve Heneghan and multi-time club champ Peter Baker.
From the front of the grid, Parker snatched the early lead as Morphett and Johnson jostled for position just behind. But it was Johnson who crept through on lap four and hit the front, albeit not without close company.
While he was never able to extend a gap of much more than half a second, the BMW rider looked to be holding on until Morphett squeezed through at the eleventh-hour, stealing the win by 0.329s and setting the new club lap record of 1:07.559. Kelvin Silvain bagged the Clubman win in ninth, ahead of Paul Garner and Callaghn Edser.
But Johnson desperately wanted another win, and he made it look easy with a lights-to-flag victory in Sunday morning’s wet battle, beating Parker to the line by over five seconds as Morphett took third. Clubman honours went to Paul Wilby in fourth, from Robert Moon and Aiden Patmore.
It looked to be a repeat of race two in the final Powerbikes race of the weekend as Johnson again nabbed the hole shot and began to extend a lead, but Parker’s heroic last-lap effort, where he set the fastest lap by almost 1.3s to cut Johnson’s winning margin to a slim 0.132s, with Morphett again third.
Silvain cruised to another Clubman win in fifth, comfortably ahead of Wilby and Patmore.
“We had a really good solid weekend,” he told UK Clubsport. “Friday we were messing around with suspension trying to get the bike to ride the bumps better, and I really enjoyed all the races – especially Saturday’s dry race with Joe and Colin, the pace was really quick and think I could have gone quicker.
“Then we got two wins on Sunday in somewhat damp conditions, but I’m really happy with how the BMW is working and I can’t wait to get to Cadwell Park now.
“I feel like we are getting there. I still feel like I have a lot to learn on the 1000 and that there is a lot of potential with the bike, so we will keep chipping away and learning.”
*Main and action image: Jenny Wells
*Trophy image: Anthony Johnson