Maguiresbridge rider Lee Johnston enjoyed a productive weekend in front of the big crowds at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod.
As always it was a huge occasion for motorsport fans across the north, and what better place to deliver the big performances.
“It was a really good to be fair, especially getting to race in front of the home crowd, and there was loads of local people up which was nice,” said Johnston.
The conditions made for tricky going, with showery spells drying off quickly and making tyre strategy something of a lottery, but Johnston didn’t let himself fazed by the weather.
In the main event the 25-year-old took third place in the Ulster Grand Prix Superbike A race. 45 year-old New Zealander Bruce Anstey took the laurels for Valvoline Padgett’s Honda with Guy Martin on a Suzuki taking second place. Anstey and Martin had dueled hard before the Kiwi caught Martin in the final lap. Pirtek Honda’s Johnston was just 4.889 seconds off top spot, holding off Robert Dunlop’s son, Michael, on a BMW.
In the Supersport Race 1 Johnston completed a Honda one two, coming in just after Anstey, 6.439 seconds the margin, with Guy Martin coming in third. William Dunlop’s Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600 was forced to pull out on the final lap, forestalling what would have been a riveting dash to the finish between himself and Anstey, allowing Johnston to capitalise and seize second place.
It completed a weekend of highlights for the young rider.
“Getting on the podium in the Superbike, the actual Grand Final race was pretty good, even though we picked the wrong rear tyre and went off a bit. But we were in the fight with Guy and Bruce so that was good. Winning the 650 race and coming second in the Supersport race made it a pretty decent weekend all round,” said Johnston.
It’s just the latest stop on a rapidly rising formline for the Maguiresbridge rider.
“I’m on the Isle of Man at the minute and I’ll be racing this Saturday on a MV 350, then Monday I’ve got the Formula One race on a Suzuki and a Manx Norton as well,” said Johnston.
“I’ve three international wins this year, five international podiums. We’re at the TT Classic and we’ll try and win one or two of those. We’re on the world stage as far as road racing goes, we’re at the very top level so it’s going pretty well to be fair.
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