Johnston impressive on the new Honda

A lack of track time at the weather-hampered Monteblanco test didn’t deter Lee Johnston and the Honda Racing roads team as they made their 2018 on track debut together.

With team-mate Ian Hutchinson unfit, the pint-sized Ulsterman had a hefty testing programme to get through as he evaluated various components for Honda, including the aerodynamic fairing used by the British Superbike team late last year.

The Louth-based squad have been busy working to improve the Fireblade after a challenging 2017 season and after three days on track, Johnston left the test happy with the progress made and a direction for the next few tests.

“It’s been really good and we managed to get through loads on the final day after the weather got in the way on the first two,” Johnston said. “I feel comfortable on the bike and that I’m riding pretty good, I had a small crash in my first few laps today but that was purely because I hit a damp patch of track.

“I’m going away from here happy, I feel really good on the superbike. The stock bike needs a bit more work but that’s normal and we’ve got a lot more testing time. We’ve got two days at Castle Combe, two at Mireval and then two more at Castle Combe so we’ll be unlucky if we don’t get a few days of good weather out of that!?

“It’s very different to the BMW I rode last year so it’s nice to feel comfortable on it already. It feels like my bike after three days, so come the North West we should be in a good position. The biggest thing for me is that the bike has no massive negatives, it’s nice, enjoyable to ride and comfortable. We’ve found a direction we want to go in so we’ll be trying that the next time we are out.”

We hope to see Lee and the Honda team early in the season at Oliver’s Mount.

Text and Image – MCN

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