Johnson earns pole after washout - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johnson earns pole after washout

By Ken Wootton 11/09/2004 07:24:40 PM Comments (0)

Victorian Shannon Johnson (Yamaha) will start from pole position in the final round of the 2004 Australian superbike championship at Phillip Island on Sunday - without actually `earning' the honour.

The unprecedented situation arose after nearly 24 hours of heavy rain meant parts of the 4.45km Grand Prix circuit were underwater by midday.

Officials were then forced to close the circuit for three hours while tending to the saturated areas.

Due to the delay, both scheduled qualifying sessions were cancelled to allow for the official racing program to commence at 3pm.

As a result of the unforeseen delay, officials declared that the practice times from Friday would determine the grid positions for Sunday's three eight-lap races, with the major benefactor being 24-year-old Johnson, who joined fellow Victorian Adam Ferguson (Honda) as the only multiple pole sitter in 2004.

The 2002 national supersport champion shares the front row with Ferguson, three-time Superbike champion Shawn Giles (Suzuki) and Kawasaki pilot Jamie Stauffer.

"I'm not that perturbed about the rain because it has worked in my favour," Johnson said.

"However, there were a few little set up things I wanted to try out today, but now that is not going to happen.

"Still, it's great to get on pole position again - it's just a pity that I wasn't showing the same form at the start of the year."

Even if Johnson wins Sunday's opening race, Ferguson only has to finish sixth or better to claim the title.

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