Classic TT: Lee Johnston takes Lightweight victory from Adam McLean

Lee Johnston secured his second win at the Classic TT with victory in Saturday's Dunlop Lightweight race.

Saturday, 25th August 2018, 9:12 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:17 pm
Lee Johnston (centre) celebrates winning the Dunlop Lightweight race at the Classic TT from runner-up Adam McLean (right) and Ian Lougher.

Riding the Padgett’s Honda, Johnston took the honours from fellow Northern Ireland rider Adam McLean, who finished second after setting the early pace on the Binch Racing Yamaha.

Ian Lougher showed he remains as competitive as ever as the veteran Welsh rider took third place on the LayLaw Yamaha ahead of Dean Harrison, who was also riding a Yamaha for the southern Irish LayLaw team run by Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor.

Johnston said: "I’d like to thank Bruce for letting me ride the bike. He’s a hero of mine and it’s an absolute privilege. I really enjoyed it.

"The team told me to try and win at the slowest possible pace. Clive Padgett has made my childhood dream come true.”

Manxman Dan Sayle, who had been at the head of the times during practice on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha, crashed on the opening lap at Ballaspur. The 36-year-old was airlifted to Nobles Hospital where his condition was described as ‘serious but stable’.

At the end of the first lap, young Tobermore rider McLean held a lead of 4.1 seconds over Johnston as the pair lapped at 116.329mph and 115.915mph respectively. Lougher was in third, 3.3 seconds behind Johnston, with Harrison and Michael Sweeney next.

By the time they reached Ballaugh Bridge on the second lap, Johnston had moved ahead on the RS250 Honda by 1.8s from McLean, with Lougher dropping back in third.

Johnston upped his speed to 117.463mph as he pitted for fuel, although he was only 1.3 seconds ahead of McLean on adjusted time following the pit stops.

However, Johnston began to turn the screw and his lead was up to seven seconds at Ramsey on lap three, with McLean now almost one minute ahead of Lougher, who had a margin of 27 seconds over Harrison in fourth.

Johnston set the fastest lap of the race at 117.919mph on his final lap as he extended his lead to win by 29 seconds from McLean, although Bruce Anstey’s 2017 lap record of 120mph was never threatened.

Lougher added another podium around the Mountain Course to his tally, with Harrison safe in fourth ahead of Joey Thompson (Yamaha) and Rikki McGovern (Honda) who finalised the top six.