Lee Johnston has targeted a victory at this week’s North West 200. The Maguiresbridge rider has not topped the podium on the North coast since 2015, but he is hoping that this year will end his four year wait.

“We need to be thinking about winning,” Lee admitted. “That is what we are putting all the effort in for and all the training in for. I feel good and haven’t had any injuries, even at the end of last year, so everything is going good.”

Lee has made the switch to a privateer team this season, and will contest the Superbike and Superstock races on his BMW, and will climb aboard his Yamaha R6 for the Supersport races. A change to his racing schedule has seen him return to the track for the British Supersport Championship on board the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha, and he has made a solid start to his campaign, holding fifth place in the series after the opening two rounds. He believes that extra racing has left him in good shape as he prepares for his return to road racing.

“With being back in the British Championship we have been getting a few miles in, and it’s the best we have been looking for a while to be honest,” he said. “I have done the first two rounds and quite a bit of testing as well so everything has been going pretty good. I feel sharp and that is the advantage of being on the track.”

The shift from track to road is one that Lee is comfortable with making, and is confident he can adapt instantly. “It’s not much different, especially not at the North West,” he revealed. “You have to adapt a bit for the TT but you are still riding as hard here as you are in the British Championship so it’s all the same.”

Lee won two Supertwin races at the North West in 2014 and added a Superstock title the following year. In the years since he has been unable to add to that tally, with three second places and a fourth place last year. He will have six chances to get a win this year, with a Supersport and Superstock race on Thursday night, and those races repeated along with two Superbike races on the Saturday. “There is nothing that we don’t have a chance in, so we need to be thinking about a win in all of them,” Lee reckons. “I feel good on all of the bikes so it will just be about what way each race pans out and who is doing what and where. I have done a couple of days testing on the Superbike and obviously the bike is quite similar to what I have rode before so that is a good base to go off and everything is looking good.