Belfast Telegraph

'I hope he's looking down now': Lee Johnston dedicates first Isle of Man TT win to his dad


Nice one son: Lee Johnston celebrates his first TT victory with his little boy Jessie
Nice one son: Lee Johnston celebrates his first TT victory with his little boy Jessie

By Roy Harris

Fermanagh flyer Lee Johnston last night dedicated his emotional first Isle of Man TT victory to the memory of his late father, Everett, who passed away after a cancer battle two years ago.

Johnston (30) took the evening Supersport race after a day when TT again spelt triumph and tragedy.

Johnston's race ended early due to rain as he headed home James Hillier and Hickman.

Afterwards, he said: I'm crying like a girl, this means so much to me. It's something I always wanted to do and this is for one man, my dad. I hope he's looking down now. "

Johnston added: "I actually didn't know what was happening when I saw the chequered flag and a red light. There was no indication earlier the race was being stopped, so I wasn't sure whether to go in for a pit stop or go past the chequered flag. I then had to ask someone if I had won and he didn't even know.

"When the race started, I knew if I could keep Peter Hickman in sight I wouldn't be far away and that's what I did. For my team and sponsors, Ashcourt Racing, East Coast Construction and Burdens, this is amazing.

"I didn't feel comfortable in the factory Honda team last year and with a great bunch of lads we set up our own team for 2019 and this is the end result for all those people who believed in me and stood by me."

Scheduled for four and starting number 11, the Maguiresbridge man, now based in Hull, took the lead between Ramsey and Bungalow on lap one and never relinquished it until he saw the chequered flag.

Johnston led Hillier at Glen Helen on lap two by four seconds, but the gap had closed to within half a second between Glen Helen and Ballaugh, extended to three-quarters of a second at Ramsey and over the mountain to the Bungalow it was up to 1.888secs, and to 3.641secs at the chequered flag.

"I have under-performed at the TT recently, but now I've beaten Alastair Seeley at the North West, and Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison, James Hillier and Conor Cummins at the TT. It's amazing," he added.

Michael Dunlop finished fifth, with Derek Sheils and Paul Jordan 11th and 12th.

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