Lee Johnston is focused solely on winning at this year’s 90th anniversary fonaCAB North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils.
However, the Fermanagh man has joked that he doesn’t want to shake up the ‘Alastair and Glenn show’ – a tongue-in-cheek reference to the rivalry between Carrick riders Alastair Seeley and Glenn Irwin, who have exchanged words in the press in recent weeks.
Johnston will ride under the Ashcourt Racing banner this year after announcing his new-look team last week, with the 29-year-old returning to BMW S1000RR machinery for the Superbike and Superstock classes.
The former North West 200 winner has switched to a Yamaha R6 this season for the Supersport races at the international road races and Johnston is determined to hit the ground running at the North Coast meeting in May.
“I’ll be coming to the North West 200 to win,” he said.
“The biggest thing is obviously not to get in the way of the Alastair and Glenn show though!
“Everyone wants to win the feature Superbike race at the North West. It is the race that grabs all the headlines and I want to win it as bad anyone else does.”
After parting company from Honda Racing last year, Johnston says he is more motivated than ever to return to winning ways in 2019.
“Running my bikes and team this year has made me want to win even more than ever,” he said.
“I’m fit and well and have been doing a lot of riding already this year in Spain. I put a bike in the van and headed to Valencia and Almeria for three weeks.
“I have been going to the North West since I was a child and all I ever wanted as a kid was to see a home rider beat the English lads and that’s what I will be trying to do come May.”
Johnston will also return to the British Supersport Championship this year to complement his road racing commitments.