North West 200: Johnston Takes Event Wins Tally To 4, After Drama Filled Tides Restaurant Supersport Race

North West 200: Johnston Takes Event Wins Tally To 4, After Drama Filled Tides Restaurant Supersport Race

After a six lap drama filled, pulsating, compelling, memorable Tides Restaurant Supersport race, Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston took his tally of North West 200 victories to four.

It wasn’t an easy victory though for the now seven times International Road Race winner, who was embroiled throughout in a world class battle with Triangle course record holder Alastair Seeley.

The duo alongside Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison, James Hillier and Paul Jordan, were part of a breakaway five rider group who battled it out in great style for class honours.

By the time lap five entered the horizon, just over a second covered the leading group, which would soon reduce from five strong to four strong, as Logan Racing Yamaha mounted Jordan dropped out of contention, returning at the Mill Road.

Photo by Rod Neill

One of the themes throughout laps five and six, of another truly brilliant Supersport encounter was the sheer amount of slip streaming going on, as Johnston, Seeley, Harrison and Hillier regularly swapped the race lead, with three of the four excluding Silicone Engineering Racing’s Harrison, all enjoying race lead tenures.

The sixth and final lap, which provided a big shock to the pre race predictors, was nothing short of unpredictable.

It seemed as if EHA Racing’s Seeley had the race sewn up, as he entered the Juniper Hill Chicane, but then he made an unforeseen error, ran wide and parted company with his YZF R6 Yamaha steed.

Photo by Road Racing Daily

This allowed Ashcourt Racing’s Johnston to move back into the race lead, which he maintained to the chequered flag, claiming race spoils by just 0.73 of a second, over respected rival, good friend Harrison.

Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki’s Hillier finalised the rostrum finishers, whilst fourth place on the results sheet went the way of 18 times TT winner Michael Dunlop, who produced a solid, accomplished performance.

PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward was a fine fifth, Honda Racing’s Ian Hutchinson clinched sixth as Davey Todd, Gary Johnson, Michael Sweeney and WH Racing’s Daley Mathison rounded out the top ten finishers.

Others to enjoy strong rides included lead newcomer Nathan Harrison (13th), Pierre Yves Bian (14th), Joe Loughlin (16th) and Spain’s Victor Lopez Santos (19th).

North West 200: Tides Restaurant Supersport race results, full results to follow:

1 Lee Johnston
2 Dean Harrison
3 James Hillier
4 Michael Dunlop
5 Jamie Coward
6 Ian Hutchinson
7 Davey Todd
8 Gary Johnson
9 Michael Sweeney
10 Daley Mathison
11 Christian Elkin
12 Horst Saiger
13 Nathan Harrison
14 Pierre Yves Bian
15 Xavier Denis
16 Joe Loughlin
17 Dominic Herbertson
18 Tom Weeden
19 Victor Lopez Santos
20 Darren Cooper
21 Matt Rees
22 Francesco Curinga
23 Kris Duncan
24 Darryl Tweed
25 Marty Lennon
26 Paul Williams
27 Ryan Gibson
28 Michael Rees
29 Alan Johnston
30 David Murphy
31 Stephen Degnan
32 Paul Mackey
33 Ramon Basomba

Words by Stevie Rial

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