Podium finish for Lee Johnson onboard the Ducati 1199 Panigale at the North West 200
Millsport Racing Ducati’s Lee Johnston was the surprise package in the first Superstock race at the North West 200 as he took second place behind Tyco Suzuki’s Alistair Seeley.
Johnston had had little time to familiarize himself with the Ducati 1199 Panigale leading up to the North West 200, but an eighth place qualifying position had given him confidence going into the race.
Immediately from the opening six lap race, Alistair Seeley opened up a lead which was never to be challenged. However a ferocious battle ensued within the chasing pack of Farquhar, Anstey Michael Dunlop, William Dunlop, Donald, Lee Johnston and Stefano Bonetti.
Throughout the race, the crowd’s attention was distracted from the dominant Seeley as the excitement went on behind him, with the battle for second always in dispute right up until the last lap with positions changing throughout the final lap. It wasn’t until they came along the coast road for the final time that Johnston claimed second and held onto the chequered flag,
Lee Johnston commented after the race, ”Obviously I am really happy with the result especially because we came through to the front in tricky conditions which made the race really exciting. With the bike being so new to the team and our first road race it was a positive start to the season and hopefully with more development to the bike we can have a really good season. I would like to thank everyone at Millsport Racing Ducati for the hard work through out the race week and we look forward to the rest of the season.”
Patrick Murray of Millsport Racing Ducati commented,” The whole team is delighted with the Superstock result which proves how good the package we have in Lee and the Ducati 1199 Panigale, with so little track time up to this race it proves to potential we have which can only get stronger. We would like to thank all our sponsors and Ducati UK and we are now looking forward to the rest of the season.
Millsport head to the Isle of Man TT next week where Lee will make his TT debut.
Superstock race one
1 Alastair Suzuki - Tyco Suzuki by TAS Racing
2 Lee JOHNSTON Ducati - Millsport Racing Ducati
3 Cameron DONALD Honda - Wilson Craig Racing
4 Ryan FARQUHAR Kawasaki - KMR Kawasaki 6
5 STK 58 Stefano BONETTI Kawasaki - Speed Motor
6 James HILLIER Kawasaki - Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki
7 Michael RUTTER Kawasaki - Bathams Kawasaki
8 Michael DUNLOP Kawasaki - Ard Na Mara/McAdoo Racing
9 Guy MARTIN Suzuki - Tyco Suzuki by TAS Racing
10 Ian LOUGHER Kawasaki - ILR Kawasaki