By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter
Lee Johnston will return to the British Supersport Championship this season when the Northern Ireland rider will also take on a new role as team manager for Ashcourt Racing.
Johnston, who is also gearing up for the return of the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix in 2022, was uncertain whether or not he would be undertaking a full short circuit campaign again this year, despite impressing over the past two years on the Yamaha R6 and winning three races on his way to finishing third overall in 2021.
However, the Fermanagh native is in for a busy time after outlining his plans on his YouTube Vlog.
Johnston revealed he was taking on the job as team manager for the first time after crew chief Roger Smith opted to take a step back from the day to day running of the team, albeit he will still be in Johnston’s corner on race weekends.
“It’s something I’m interested in and I’m grateful for the chance to do it,” said Johnston, who clinched his maiden Isle of Man TT win in the Supersport class in 2019.
“From now on I’ll be running the team on a day to day basis, but Roger will stay on as my crew chief on weekends and maybe come in to the workshop the odd day to help with stuff.
“I am happy about it and I’m looking forward to the challenge of doing it, although I’m under no illusions because I know it’s not going to be easy.”
On his decision to compete in the British Supersport Championship again, Johnston said his sponsors were keen for him to keep racing in the series in 2022, when New Zealand’s Damon Rees will be his team-mate.
“I’m going to go back and do the British Supersport Championship again,” he said.
“I honestly didn’t think this was going to happen after speaking to sponsors last year, but we’ve had some new ones come on board and the current ones have stepped up and said they really want to do it again.
“So along with a full roads season, I’m going to do a full British season, which I am actually really happy about because I had a good year last year and it was a good platform to try and build off, so I’m really grateful to the team and sponsors to make that possible.
“Damon (Rees) will do Supersport with me and along with that, hopefully all being well the whole roads calendar is going to open up again with the North West, TT and the ‘Ulster’ if it goes, and then Scarborough as well, if that goes without clashing with any rounds of the British championship.”