Lee Johnston has signed a deal to ride for Jackson Racing in 2017. The former Maguiresbridge rider was left without a bike for this year after his former team East Coast Racing withdrew from the sport, but Lee is delighted with the deal he has been able to secure that will see him contest all the major road races as well as several rounds of the Superstock and Supersport British Championships. Lee will ride the ex Nicky Hayden Ten Kate Honda Superbike, as well as the Honda Fireblade SP2 in the Superstock classes and a CBR600RR in Supersport races.

“It’s nice to be riding Honda again,” he said. “I’m just trying to get all the little things into place now but it is looking good and I’m looking forward to getting riding. It has been a long off-season with getting injured and all the stuff with contracts and changing teams, so I will be glad just to get back on the bike.”

The 27 year old is regarded as one of the top road racers on the grid. He had several teams keen to secure his signature for the season, but he is confident that results will prove he has made the correct decision. “There was a few offers and that made it a bit harder if anything, but I’m happy with where we have ended up,” he said. “The bikes were really good and it was good that I was allowed to bring some of my own guys along as well. I like keeping things the same if I can.”

Lee had a frustrating season plagued by injuries in 2016, but he is now back to full fitness and is determined to put the disappointments behind him and make a return to the top of the podium.

“It was an awful year,” he admitted. “People try to sugar coat it say you have to take the good times and the bad times but it was just an awful year. It was nobody else’s fault but my own. I fell off. I got hurt.”

And he has no doubt about his aim for the upcoming season. “Win! I just have to crack on with it now and get back to winning again. I think it will be easier than 2015. In 2015 I didn’t know if I could win or not. Now I do know and all I have to do is do the same thing again. I’m good now and feel a lot better. I don’t ever say to anybody what I want to do but yeah, I just want to win. That’s why I’m racing.”

Lee is planning to tackle the North West 200, the TT, the Ulster Grand Prix, the Macau Grand Prix and one or two Scarborough meetings, as well as making several appearances on the track during 2017.