Reigning Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy Privateer’s Champion Lee Johnston has confirmed his participation at the 2014 event by again teaming up with East Coast Racing.
The Lincolnshire-based team will run 24-year old Johnston in all solo classes with the Northern Irishman riding Hondas in the Dainese Superbike, PokerStars Senior, RL360º Superstock and Monster Energy Supersport Races. He will again contest the Bikesocial.co.uk Lightweight TT on board a 650cc ER6 Kawasaki.
Without doubt, Johnston, a former British Junior Superstock Champion and front runner in the British Supersport Championship, has the potential to become a major TT star and has been a revelation since committing to road racing, enjoying a particularly successful 2013 TT campaign.
Despite only his second Mountain Course meeting ‘the General’, as he is affectionately known, was a clear winner in the TT Privateer’s Championship, achieving a best result of ninth in the Bikesocial.co.uk Lightweight TT Race. However, it was, arguably, the PokerStars Senior Race where was most impressive, as he not only took 11th on his privateer Honda but also lapped at a superb 126.358mph, becoming the 26th fastest rider in TT history.
Joining the East Coast Racing team only weeks prior to the 2013 event, Johnston also took 12th in the Superstock race, 13th in the Superbike and 17th in the second Supersport race to complete a truly excellent week.
His road racing credentials were also proved elsewhere during the 2013 season as he took four top-eight finishes at the Ulster Grand Prix, including a brace of thirds in the Supersport and Supertwin Races, and lapped the Dundrod course at 131.559mph. In addition, he claimed his debut podium at the North West 200, third in the Supersport Race, took ninth at the Macau Grand Prix and enjoyed a solid debut at the Scarborough Gold Cup. Now based in Hull, Johnston also finished fourth in the National Superstock 1000cc Race at Cadwell Park.
Speaking about his 2014 TT plans, Johnston commented: “I still feel like a rookie around the Mountain Circuit. I got so few laps done in 2012 that 2013 really felt like I was still a newcomer. I was carrying a leg injury into the event also and it was touch and go as to whether or not I’d be able to ride at all. As it turned out I don’t think it could have gone any better and I feel confident in my own ability now going back for my third year on the Island.”
He continued by saying: “Phil Reed at East Coast Construction has been brilliant to me with the support he is giving me and together I think we can look forward to a successful season. I’m still learning my way around the Mountain Circuit and there is no pressure on me to get results, but I am quietly confident that we can make further progress up the leader board in 2014.”