Lee Johnston delighted to land Supersport joy after incredible duel with Davey Todd

British supersport Lee Johnston lived up to his expectations with a hard-earned fifth North West 200 triumph in yesterday’s Supersport race.

e Fermanagh, now based in Huddersfield, was touted as the likeliest winner after making a strong start to the British Championship on his Ashcourt Racing Yamaha.

Johnston opted out of Thursday’s first Supersport match, which was played in cold and wet conditions.

But the 33-year-old made amends to win the second race on a sunny Saturday, despite being harassed to the line by in-form man Davey Todd on Padgett’s Honda’s Milenco.

In a breathless final lap, Johnston won after a decisive overtake at the Juniper Hill chicane to win by just 0.079s.

“It’s not very often for two riders to break away up front and I gave Davey a little wave when I knew it was just the two of us,” Johnston said.

“We both passed each other and didn’t slow each other down, and it was good and clean and fun.

“The bikes were matched pretty well in a different way, and I got away with it when Davey made a mistake. But I made a big mistake myself at York corner and he caught me again,” he added.

“He made a mistake at Black Hill on the last lap and I was able to give him a run.

“Hopefully that compensates for Thursday.”

The pair broke free from the pack and engaged in their own personal duel up front, with a last-lap decider still looking likely.

Johnston managed to pull out a 1.5s gap after Todd made a mistake on the brakes at the Mather chicane on lap four, but the Saltburn-by-the-Sea driver regrouped and brought the leader, topping 180mph on the Honda on the blast at Coleraine.

On the sixth and final lap, Todd had his nose ahead at the Metropole in Portrush, but he overcooked it slightly over Black Hill and Johnston was able to get a great drive along the coastal road.

As the crowd held their breath, Johnston passed Todd in the Juniper chicane and sprinted him to the line, where he sealed his second North Coast Supersport victory by the narrowest of margins.

Todd, who finished four runners-up overall over the two days of racing, said: “I tried hard on Black Hill on the last lap, probably a little too hard, and I was bummed not to win the victoire.

“But it was a great race with Lee and it was a great race to be in.”

Michael Dunlop brought his MD Racing Yamaha home in third, 9.8 seconds behind.

“They’re both running at the top of the British Championship and we haven’t had a lot of time so it’s a good start,” Dunlop said.

“We took a step and I was doing the lap times on my own, so we know about it.”

Dean Harrison (DAO Kawasaki), Jamie Coward (KTS/Steadplan Yamaha) and Joe Loughlin (ILR/Coverdale Yamaha) finalized the top six.

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