Northern Ireland's Lee Johnston will make his debut at the Isle of Man TT races in June for the East Coast Racing Honda team on a CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Johnston, a former National Superstock 600 champion who made his debut on the roads at the North West 200 in 2008, is stepping up to the 1000cc class for the first time in his career.

From Maguiresbridge in Co Fermanagh, Johnston, nicknamed 'General Lee', dominated the National Superstock 600 series on his way to the title in 2008, finishing on the podium in 10 of the 12 rounds to take the silverware by a commanding 41 points.

Related Articles

He has competed in the British Supersport Championship for the past three seasons, joining East Coast Racing in 2011 and finishing fourth and sixth at the opening round to get his campaign off to a flying start.

Johnston was a regular top eight finisher before East Coast Racing was forced to withdraw from the championship.

The outfit, which also ran Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson in the British Supersport series, was victorious at the TT last year when Johnson claimed his maiden victory on the Mountain Course in the second Supersport race.

Irish rider Johnston (23), who will ride in the Dainese Superbike, Royal London 360 Superstock and PokerStars Senior TT, has already been to the Island to have a look around the notorious 37.73-mile course.

"I've already been over to the Isle of Man and done a good recce of the course with the rider liaison officers which has really whetted my appetite, but I can't wait to get on the track for real at the end of May," he said.

"Coming from Northern Ireland, the TT has always been on my radar and I'm delighted to be getting the chance to race on this iconic course."

Johnston finished 12th overall in BSS in 2009 with three fifth place finishes for Raceways Yamaha and a year later he took 13th, aided by four top-ten finishes for Gearlink Kawasaki and Oxford TAG Triumph.

He finished ninth in the solitary Supersport race held at the North West 200 last May just one tenth of a second behind Guy Martin. The event was abandoned due to poor weather, a hoax bomb scare and an oil spill.

Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Manager, Isle of Man Government, added: "Lee already has a proven road racing and circuits CV and he looks like he's going to be a star on the Isle of Man for many years to come.

It's great to see another leading circuit rider committing to road racing and he typifies the breed of talented young riders that are now opting for the roads."