Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Farquhar snaps up Johnston for North West ride

Lee Johnston will ride a Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki
Lee Johnston will ride a Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki

Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki team boss Ryan Farquhar has made Lee Johnston his first high-profile recruit prior to the opening international road race of the season – the Vauxhall International North West 200 in May.

As announced with the team's new sponsorship deal on Wednesday, the Dungannon man will also run 22-year-old Jamie Hamilton and Connor Behan this season, but I would fully expect to see Farquhar add Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter to his team at the North West – both riding Supertwins.

Johnston, who will also ride Ducati machinery at the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix, in addition to taking on a full National Superstock campaign, is thrilled with his latest acquisition.

"The Supertwins class is getting bigger and Ryan builds the best bikes, so I want to start off with the best and give it a go."

The Fermanagh man with the diminutive stature surprised many of the established stars by scooping a podium place in the Thursday Superstock race last year on the North Coast, and feels that his lightweight make-up may offer him an advantage over some of the opposition.

"I weigh just 60kg, so that should be a big help on the smaller bikes.

"KMR Kawasaki dominated the podium places in the Supertwins' race last year and I'd like to be in among the action with Michael and Jeremy in May.

"It would be really good to get one over on the old boys," he joked when contacted in South Africa where he is currently racing Classic machinery.

The Adelaide Motorcycle Festival got under way today at 2pm and will stay open tonight until 10pm.

It also runs tomorrow and Sunday from 10am through to 5pm with top local stars Alastair Seeley, Jack Kennedy and the Dunlop brothers on hand to chat and sign autographs.

The all-new Milwaukee and Mar-Train Racing Yamahas will be on display, as will the aforementioned Vauxhall KMR Kawasakis of Ryan Farquhar's team.