Former British Superstock 600 champion Lee Johnston is making a name for himself on the road racing stage this year.
Johnston, from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, made his debut at the Isle of Man TT in June and is preparing for his first ride on the legendary Dundrod circuit at the Ulster Grand Prix this week.
The 23-year-old joined Ulster team Millsport Racing in 2012 and sensationally finished as the runner-up in the Superstock class on the Ducati Panigale 1199 at the North West 200 in May behind British Superbike star Alastair Seeley.
Johnston, who previously plied his trade solely on the short circuits, will compete in the Superbike and Superstock races at Dundrod on the Panigale, switching to a Honda CBR600RR for the Supersport events.
On his eye-catching form on the roads, Johnston said he was enjoying a fresh challenge in the sport.
“I'm on good form to be honest and that's the biggest thing,” said the former British Supersport contender.
“Millsport are renowned as a road race team as such so when I joined them they had a big interest in doing the likes of the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
“But even before I joined them I had another bike lined up at the start of the year to do the three main road race meetings.
“I just felt like I wanted a bit of a change to see how I got on and to see whether or not I would like it,” he added.
“As far as things are going at the minute I'm enjoying myself, so I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing!”
The Northern Irishman was blown away by his experience at the TT in June and intends to return to the infamous Mountain circuit in 2013.
“The TT was just unbelievable – the best way to describe it is like someone letting you go and do something you shouldn't be doing.
“It's an awesome feeling and I can understand why guys build their whole year around the TT,” he said.
“I'm looking forward to the Ulster Grand Prix and I'll do the Superbike and Superstock races on the Ducati plus the Supersport races on a Honda.”