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Frustrating end to the NW200 for the Valmoto MV Agusta team

Following a relatively positive week in Northern Ireland, the Valmoto MV Agusta team has suffered a disappointing end to its debut road racing campaign. Treacherous weather conditions across the region, including high winds and heavy rain, hindered the annual North West 200 road races, meaning rider Gary Johnson was only able to complete one full lap of this morning’s Supersport race aboard the MV Agusta F3 675.

With relentless rainfall proving too dangerous for the riders to continue on the nine-mile public roads triangle course, the race was red-flagged after two laps and the result later declared with Michael Dunlop taking the victory.

The North West 200 marked the first real on-track outing for Valmoto MV Agusta, which is spearheaded by experienced team manager Jack Valentine. While the team managed to overcome instability problems with the F3 at the start of the week, a faulty tip-off switch caused Johnson to retire from the first Supersport race on Thursday. However, the team had approached this morning’s race with renewed enthusiasm, keen to continue progressing with the set-up of the Metzeler-shod machine. Jack and the rest of the team are now focussing on preparing for the prestigious Isle of Man TT races in two weeks’ time.

Team owner Jack Valentine said: “What can I say, we can’t control the weather! It’s frustrating for us, the organisers and the fans that the races have to be cancelled – we’ve been in Northern Ireland for the best part of a week preparing for today’s event and we’re unable to get a fair shot at it. However, that being the case, it’s not unlike some of the weather conditions we’ve experienced in the British Superbikes, for example.

“Although we haven’t been able to complete a full race with the F3, we are pleased with the development progress we’ve made over here. We posted some good times through the speed trap and we’ve managed to fix the problems we had with instability earlier on in the week. Overall, it’s been a learning curve for us and we’re now looking forward to getting back into the workshop next week and analysing the data we’ve collated while over here ahead of the Isle of Man TT races.”

Gary Johnson said: “It’s so frustrating that I haven’t been able to complete race distance but I think we’re 98% there with the bike now, so what little time we’ve had on the road has been worth it after all. We’re all now looking ahead to the TT.”