Exciting road racing talent Lee Johnston can't wait to make his debut at the infamous Macau Grand Prix in the Far East next month.
The Northern Irishman has been a sensation this year at the international road races, finishing as the runner-up to Alastair Seeley in the opening Superstock race at the North West 200 and taking a stunning podium behind William Dunlop and Bruce Anstey in the Supersport class on his Ulster Grand Prix debut in August.
Now based in Hull, Johnston hasn't looked back this season since he teamed up with respected international roads outfit Millsport Racing.
Johnston has already signed with the team for another season in 2013, when he will also ride a 600cc Honda Supersport machine in addition to the exotic Ducati Panigale 1199.
The 28-year-old, who impressed during his debut at the Isle of Man TT in June, is now preparing to take on the daunting challenge of the Armco-barrier lined Guia street circuit at Macau, where he is entered on the Panigale.
Johnston told the Belfast News Letter: “Macau is going to be a new experience for me.
“It's dangerous over there and I'll be taking it steady and just learning the place and not doing anything stupid.
“I'm getting a reputation now as a road racer after this season but I don't mind because I wanted a fresh challenge and I've really enjoyed myself, though I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not!
“It's been a great year and I've surprised myself a bit, but it's all good and I'm looking forward now to getting over to Macau.”
Johnston is in the privileged position of having his plans for next season finalised already.
In addition to the international road races, the ex-Superstock 600 champion will also compete in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship.
“It's great to have next year's deal done as the team and I have proved to be a package that can push for the top step,” he said.
“This year has been a learning year for us with the new bikes, but we are going in the right direction and with a testing programme through the winter planned we should be on the mark come the first round of the championship.”
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness will ride for the SMT Honda team at the event, when the line-up also includes Gary Johnson, Manx rider Conor Cummins and Martin Jessopp.