Lee Johnston won’t defend his Supertwin titles at the Vauxhall International North West 200 in May after confirming he will sit out both races to concentrate on the bigger capacity machines.
The Fermanagh man clinched a brilliant double in the class at the North West last year, but although Johnston will compete in the Lightweight race on one of Ryan Farquhar’s Kawasaki machines at the Isle of Man TT, he will be absent from the Supertwin grid in Portrush.
Johnston, who will ride BMW and Triumph machinery in the 1000cc and Supersport classes respectively under the East Coast Racing banner with support from new sponsor Burdens, said: “I have sold the bike I rode last year and I want to concentrate on the bigger bikes this year so I won’t be racing in the Twins races.
“When you have too many bikes you can’t have that focus and I really want to try to win a 600cc or big bike race this year at the North West.
“I had good runs at the ‘Ulster’ and in Macau in 2014 so maybe I’ve proved I can ride a big bike now,” added Johnston, who has scored Superstock and Supersport podium finishes at the North West.
“I want to carry that on at the North West but it is going to be tough for a small team like us against the factory boys.”
Johnston will begin testing next week in Spain at Almeria and Guadix.