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Noel Johnston hopes for return to top form on board Honda Fireblade

By Paul Lindsay

MCE Ulster Grand Prix clerk of course Noel Johnston has welcomed the news that Lee Johnston will ride for Jackson Racing at the world’s fastest road race in Dundrod this August.

The 27-year-old rider from Maguiresbridge in Fermanagh had, by his own admission, a less than brilliant 2016 season following an injury sustained in Scarborough in April.

Speaking after it was announced he would be riding Nicky Hayden’s 2016 World Superbike-spec Honda Fireblade on the roads this year, Johnston said: “I’m really glad to have my team sorted for 2017. It’s pretty similar to my last team in terms of size and the way of doing things, I get to have my input and I think it’s a good fit.

“The machinery I’ll be riding this year has me pretty excited. Ten Kate is preparing both my Superbike and 600 in Holland and it’s great that they want to be involved with road racing.

“I just want to get back to my 2015 best this year. 2016 was a waste of time but I’m training hard and feeling much better within myself. Now I just need to concentrate on not getting hurt and getting some success.

“The new bikes are great, plenty fast, especially the superbike, and I’m feeling confident about what they’ll be able to do at Dundrod. I had my first podium at the Dundrod 150 back in 2012 on a Honda so I’m excited to get back there with Jackson Racing to see what I can do this time.”

The UGP’s Noel Johnston said: “Lee has said in the past that Dundrod is his favourite circuit and he’s a massive hit with the local fans. It was a real shame that injury prevented him from giving it his all back in August but if there’s one thing the crowd loves it’s a comeback and we’ll all be looking forward to seeing a big return.

“Lee is one of the brightest talents in the sport and he’ll be bringing with him some mega machinery and a good attitude. I see no reason he won’t return to 2015 form, when he was crowned the Ulster’s Man of the Meeting.”

The UGP and Dundrod 150 road races will take place between August 6-12. 

Belfast Telegraph

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