Ulster GP: Emotional podium return for Johnston

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Lee Johnston made an emotional return to the podium this afternoon as he finished third in the opening Ulster Grand Prix Supersport race.

The Padgetts Honda rider, who hasn’t ridden since his nasty accident at Greeba Castle during practice for this year’s Isle of Man TT, fought close friend Dean Harrison in a race long battle for the final podium spot, eventually coming out on top by just over half a second.

Johnston sustained a back injury in the TT crash and has been in a fight to be fit for this year’s Ulster Grand Prix after telling himself that’s where he’d make his racing return.

The Supersport podium comes after the Ulsterman retired from morning’s Superstock outing, and admits he’s feeling pretty rough after today’s first two races.


“This is actually the bike I killed at the TT! It’s the resurrection of what was left, anyway! I feel amazing to be on the podium. All the people close to me, my missus and everyone, have had to put up with a lot in the last few months and it’s been tough. I promised myself when I was in hospital that I’d be fit to come here and I didn’t really believe it. I’ve worked so hard with physios, doctors and everything over the last two months.

“When fighting with Dean on the final lap I got into a bit of a tank slapper and managed to jerk my back, so I’m not very comfortable but I’m happy! Thanks to Clive for building me a new bike and bringing it here for me.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing