BSB Knockhill: TT winner Lee Johnston caps strong weekend with runner-up finish

Northern Ireland’s Lee Johnston capped an excellent weekend at Knockhill in Scotland with a runner-up finish in the British Supersport class on Sunday.

Lee Johnston on the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha at Knockhill in the British Supersport Sprint race. Picture: David Yeomans Photography.
Lee Johnston on the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha at Knockhill in the British Supersport Sprint race. Picture: David Yeomans Photography.

The Fermanagh man finished third in Saturday’s Sprint race on his Ashcourt Racing Yamaha, gaining a place after race leader Kyle Smith crashed out on the final lap, but Johnston climbed even higher in race two to clinch second place behind double race winner Bradley Perie on the Appleyard Macadam Yamaha.

Johnston, who came home ahead of former two-time British Supersport champion Jack Kennedy (Bournemouth Kawasaki), said: “I think that’s the first time I’ve beat Jack since we were about 18 because we grew up racing together.

“He’s obviously stayed in the British championship and I went road racing, so that was a big win for me getting one over on Jack!

“I have to say congratulations to Bradley Perie – he’s riding really well, he’s in a good team with a good package, but he’s stepped up from last year.”

Perie’s winning margin was five seconds over Johnston, with Kennedy 0.2s further back in third.

With the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT cancelled for the second successive season in 2021, Johnston’s main focus is on the British championship, although he did compete at the Spring Cup meeting at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough in May, where he was victorious in the Supersport class and also notched a win in the Ultra-Lightweight category on a 250cc Honda.

“Realistically, I’m a road racer – that’s what my job is and that’s what I get paid for,” said Johnston, who won his first Isle of Man TT race in the opening Supersport event in 2019.

“But with this coronavirus we haven’t been able to do any road racing, so I’m back in the British championship and I’m really enjoying it. Being at the front obviously helps, but it’s also going to help my road racing and hopefully we can get back to winning some more TTs.”

Johnston is tied for third place with Ben Currie, 16 points behind joint title leaders Kennedy and Perie.

Perie won the Sprint race on Saturday by half-a-second from Kennedy, with Johnston 0.6s back in third.

Eunan McGlinchey finished seventh overall on Sunday on the Gearlink Kawasaki after taking eighth on Saturday.

Scott Swann was 12th overall in the Sprint race but had a DNF in race two.

Ballynahinch man Korie McGreevy was left frustrated after two spills on the Mar Train Racing Yamaha.

In the National Superstock 1000 Championship, Keith Farmer was seventh in race one on the Morello IMR Kawasaki and 11th in the second race.

Eglinton’s David Allingham (Astro-JJR BMW) was 10th in the first race but registered a DNF in race two.

Young gun Rossi Dobson was 14th and 13th in the British Talent Cup races on the Wilson Racing Honda.

Rhys Coates was 18th in race two.

Dromara’s Alexander Rowan failed to finish either race on the Victoria House Mortimer Racing Honda.