Honda Racing returned to the International North West 200 podium today as Lee Johnston finished the final Superbike race of the day in third place aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
In the opening Superbike race of the day Johnston narrowly missed out on the podium after crossing the line in fourth place. In a thrilling race at the 8.9-mile circuit in Northern Ireland, ‘The General’ started from tenth on the grid and soon started to gain places aboard the Fireblade.
Making his way into second place in the closing stages of the race, the 29-year old outbroke himself heading into Juniper Hill and crossed the line fourth having set the second fastest lap time of the race 4:24.173 (122.238mph).
The final feature Superbike race of the day saw Johnston quickly making up places and into the front pack. With blistering pace aboard the CBR he had the podium firmly in his sights and by the end of the second lap was into third. Holding off challenges from his rivals, Johnston crossed the line third just 0.185s from second place.
Meanwhile teammate Ian Hutchinson enjoyed a successful NW200 with the Honda Racing team, as he made his return to racing. Working throughout the week to optimise the settings on the Fireblade and after a retirement in the first race, ‘Hutchy’ showed good pace and progress in the final Superbike race, crossing the line 11th.
The team will now prepare for the Isle of Man TT races, which take place 26 May – 8 June, with first Superbike practice getting underway on Monday 28 May.