Lee Johnston’s proposed ride at the Vauxhall North West 200 in the Supertwin class has fallen through.
Johnston was due to ride a Kawasaki ER6 for Ryan Farquhar’s new-look KMR Racing team, which is being supported this year by Northern Ireland’s Vauxhall dealers.
The Fermanagh rider had been looking forward to making his debut in the class at the North West in May, but yesterday Farquhar confirmed the deal was off.
“It’s not happening now and it’s a bit of pressure off to be honest because it’s one less bike I have to prepare,” Farquhar told the News Letter.
“I’m flat out as it is building bikes and I’ll still have four bikes on the grid in the Supertwin races at the North West, so that’s enough to be getting on with.”
Michael Rutter, Jeremy McWilliams and team regular Jamie Hamilton are set to ride Farquhar’s Supertwin machines at the North West.
It is understood that Johnston’s Rapido Sport Ducati team want the Maguiresbridge man to concentrate his efforts on the new Panigale 1199R, which he will ride in the Superbike and Superstock races at the NW200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
Johnston was a surprise package on the roads last year, claiming a rostrum finish in the first Superstock race at the North West and following that up with a stunning third place result in the Supersport class on his debut at the Ulster GP.
He also made his bow at the Isle of Man TT and will return to all three international roads events this season.
Ballymoney’s Millsport Racing team has joined forces with Rapido Ducati to form the new alliance, with Italian Matteo Baiocco competing in the British Superbike Championship.