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Lee Johnston celebrates dream debut at Dundrod

Northern Ireland rider Lee Johnston puts Ducati Panigale on top step in Challenge race at Dundrod 150 road races on way to double victory on circuit debut
Lee Johnston made a brilliant debut at the Dundrod 150 in Northern Ireland, where he claimed a double in the National and Challenge races.

The Dundrod 150 meeting is a forerunner to the main Ulster Grand Prix international showdown on Saturday.

Johnston, a former British Superstock 600 champion, was a comfortable winner in the National race but had to fend off a determined challenge by Englishman Rob Barber in the Challenge event.

From Fermanagh but now residing in Hull, Johnston moved into the lead on lap one on the Millsport Ducati Panigale and looked to be making a break just as he did in the earlier National race.

However, Barber was on a charge on his BMW S1000RR and reduced the deficit to 0.3 seconds by the end of lap two, with newcomers Dean Harrison and Russ Mountford next.

Barber set a new lap record for the Challenge race at 129.14mph to put the pressure on Johnston, but the ex-British Superstock 600 champion responded to put some daylight between himself and his closest rival.

Johnston notched his fastest lap of the week at 128.423mph as he took his second win of the day, with Harrison finishing third behind Barber.

Johnston set a new lap record for the National race earlier in the day.

He led from start to finish during the five-lap event to take the chequered flag ahead of fellow newcomers Harrison and Mountford.

Johnston twice broke Czech rider Michal Dokoupil's lap record on his second and third laps before upping the ante again on his final lap with an average speed of 123.198mph.

The former British Supersport contender, who made his debut at the Isle of Man TT in June, won the race on a 600cc Honda and will ride the bike again in Saturday's Supersport races before switching to the Ducati Panigale 1198 for the bigger capacity events.



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