Lee Johnston looking for new deal for 2017 racing season

Lee Johnston
Lee Johnston was forced to sit out the Ulster Grand Prix after suffering a broken collarbone in practice

Leading Northern Ireland road racer Lee Johnston must seek new machinery for next year after his team announced they will not compete in the 2017 season.

East Coast Racing team boss Phil Reed indicated that he was "taking a break" from motorcycle sponsorship due to "personal and business commitments".

Johnston, 27, had a difficult season in 2016, suffering injuries in crashes at Scarborough and the Ulster Grand Prix.

The Fermanagh rider took a hat-trick of wins at the 2015 Ulster Grand Prix.

Lee Johnston
Lee Johnston won both Supersport races and the Superstock event at the 2015 Ulster GP

Johnston also secured a Superstock success in the team's colours at the North West 200 in the same year.

He went on to finish third on his BMW in the Superstock class at the Isle of Man TT and recorded his first 130mph lap of the Mountain Course.

Johnston's father Everitt passed away last month following a battle with cancer.

"After seven years of involvement in motorcycle sponsorship, with memorable results at all the major international road races, East Coast Racing will take a break from competition," read a statement from the team.

"Due to business and personal commitments, Phil reed will cease to run a privateer team with immediate effect.

"Phil will continue to support Lee on a personal level next season wherever he may decide his future lies."

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