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Old 03-03-2015, 05:50 AM   #1
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Smiths Triumph clear up Johnson Martin debacle

Johnsons financial expectations had transformed drastically since 2014

SMITH’S Triumph have been in the firing line since announcing Lincolnshire racer Guy Martin will ride for them in this year’s Isle of Man TT Supersport races instead of double TT winner Gary Johnson.

Last year Johnson won the first Supersport race of 2014 with Smith’s Triumph and therefore fans, and apparently Johnson himself, couldn’t understand why Martin had in fact been given his ride instead which led to a flurry of fury on social media.

The statement issued below by Team Manager Rebecca Smith explains that replacing Gary Johnson with Guy Martin is not for commercial reasons and is due to Johnson’s ‘financial expectations’ increasing to beyond the Smith’s Triumph budget.

Smith’s Triumph Team Manager has stated: “Whilst delighted to have confirmed our plans of the 2015 TT Races, we have been very disappointed with the subsequent comments on the various media platforms.

“For the record, Gary was offered the Supersport TT ride with us for the 2015 TT back in October 2014, when I met with him at the final round of the MCE British Superbike Championship.

“Those initial discussions highlighted that Gary’s financial expectations had transformed drastically since him riding for us in 2014 and, whilst we were prepared to improve the package for 2015, they were just too far apart from what our budget allowed and this was made clear at that very early stage.

“As a team, the deal from our side had not changed logistically. The bike is better having undergone further development work, the crew he would be working with would be the same and the testing plan would have been as 2014.

“I am not prepared to disclose any of the financial discussions that took place between Gary and I as I deem these to be confidential, but I will say that those which have been printed in the media over the last week or so are vastly incorrect.

“Right up until recently, the deal was still on offer to Gary but we were not prepared to increase our initial offer. We were subsequently approached by Guy Martin who asked if he could acquire a Triumph Daytona 675R from us to use at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races.

“As a result, and realising that the 2015 festival was only three months away, and having not reached an agreement with Gary, we agreed to supply that earmarked machine for Guy to use.There is no hidden agenda with the deal with Guy, no television or commercial deals like as some are suggesting. We want to work with him and he wants to work with us, there really is nothing more to it than that.

“I hope that puts the record straight from our perspective and we wish Gary well in his endeavours this season and once again wish to place on record our thanks for his achievement in giving us our first TT win last year.

“I would also like to reiterate that our priority rider in all solo classes at the TT is Dave Johnson whom we rate highly, despite coming in for some unfair criticism in these inaccurate and inappropriate stories. He will spearhead our efforts on both BMW and Triumph machinery and Guy Martin will join him for the two Supersport races on the Smiths 675cc Triumph Daytona. Running both Gary and Guy on Supersport bikes as teammates was never a viable option for us.”

Smith’s Triumph explained their reasoning for this statement was due to ‘inaccurate and untruthful comments’ being posted on social media as well as in the press.

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