NW200 Supertwins: Lee Johnston takes debut North West win

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Lee Johnston has bounced back from a crash in the opening race of the day at the Vauxhall North West 200 to take his debut win at the Triangle circuit, with a series of late fast laps allowing him to take the top spot in the Supertwin race.

Ivan Lintin was the early leader, managing to pull out a gap on the first lap and maintain it almost right until the end, leaving Johnston to ball with Jamie Cowton, Jamie Hamilton, and the KMR Kawasakis of Ryan Farquhar, Keith Amor and Jeremy McWilliams.

However, it wasn’t to be for Lintin, and an ultra fast last lap for Johnston let him close down before taking the lead at Juniper chicane, as Amor was forced out with a mechanical problem at Mill Road.

At the flag, Johnston led by half a second, sharing the podium with Lintin and Cowton, with TT winner James Hillier fourth, Jamie Hamilton fifth, and Ryan Farquhar the best of his own team in sixth. Martin Jessop was seventh, while last year’s winner McWilliams was eighth, a minute off the leading duo.

Amor wasn’t the only mechanical DNF, with Michael Dunlop suffering his second of the week to retire on lap three, while TT podium finisher Dean Harrison only completed one lap before crashing out at Mill Road.

Speaking afterwards, Johnston said: “It’s about bloody time I won one! The first few laps I was a little on edge, after the early crash, and it took me a while to get myself sorted out. I was working really well with Keith, getting tows off each other, but I have no idea how Ivan managed to get away on his own! I had to work for the win, but that makes it even better!”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer