Six times international road race winner Lee Johnston has recently stated that he is ready to make his return to competitive roads action, at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
Out of action for almost two months, following a high speed incident at TT 2017, ‘General Lee’ has had a specific goal in his mind, in the road to recovery, to be fit for the world’s fastest road race.
Speaking about this topic, Lee said:
“It’s a big relief to be feeling race ready for Dundrod. Only the people closest to me know that when I was still in the hospital I made a plan in my head that this was what I wanted to do and having that goal helped me in recovery, you need to be aiming for something.
I’ve worked really hard to get to this point, I’ve been at everything from oxygen chambers to a guy coming to the house with a magnetic bed and all sorts.
I feel loads better than I did a month ago. I’m still a little bit sore, but my back has healed up well and the break has healed but it’s just the nerve damage to deal with and that’s going to be sore for months and months. I’ll get a painkiller injection before the Ulster to calm it down a bit.
Apart from that I feel good, I’m back doing some light training. I haven’t ridden a bike yet but we’re planning to do a test next Thursday.
I’ve been riding bikes long enough and had enough crashes that it doesn’t really make much different to me confidence wise. I just have to get bike sharp again and the only way to do that is to get back on it.
The good thing is I’m riding bikes that I know well which helps massively and I wouldn’t be going at all if I didn’t think I was going to be competitive.
I might be a little bit rusty for the first couple of races until we get going again but the good thing about that is we have the Thursday racing to get back in the swing of it and then I’ll be hopefully be ready for the Saturday.”
Linking up with long term backers East Coast Racing for the Superstock and Superbike races, the Supersport races at Dundrod are set to see Lee form part of a three rider Padgetts line up.
Photo by Rod Neill
Aiming in August for at least one Ulster GP victory, Lee said:
“I always go racing to win and if I’m feeling good and well as hopefully I am then I plan on trying to win a few races at the Ulster.
You’re wasting petrol and fuel and tyres and everything if you’re not going with winning in mind.
It might not happen but you have to at least set that goal, if you turn up thinking you’re only going to get top five then you’re definitely not going to win.”
Ulster GP, Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston added his thoughts on Lee’s upcoming roads comeback.
“The news that Lee has recovered well enough to compete is very welcome, and adds to overall the strength of the entry list.
After a disappointing season in 2016 which culminated in him breaking his collarbone after a crash during practice last August at Dundrod, Lee seemed to be back to his best at the beginning of this year.
It was a shame he crashed out of the TT when he was going so well up to that point, but the good news for him is that it’s all to play for at the Ulster.
He was our 2015 Man of the Meeting and I know that a lot of people will be glad to see him back, and hopefully on winning form once again.”
Words by Stevie Rial