John McGuinness is back with the Honda Racing factory team for next year’s road races, alongside teammate Glenn Irwin, riding the new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
The move is a bit of a surprise, after John McGuinness was booted from the Honda family in 2018, which resulted in the “Morecambe Missile” man riding on the Norton superbike project.
Coming back now to the team that’s helped him win the most Isle of Man TT races, McGuinness will see his 100th TT start on the Honda Fireblade – a model of motorbike that he has taken to the winner’s circle 12 of its 20 times.
“What can I say really, it’s like coming back home to the family! I’ve been in talks for a while with Neil and Harv and it’s just something that feels right; it’s the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade, I’ll be 50 years old and also celebrating my 100th TT start, so it feels like it’s meant to be,” said McGuinness.
“I’ve enjoyed a lot of success on the roads with the Honda and worked with Harv back in the day with HM Plant Honda, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the set-up and getting going.”
“I had a little go on the Fireblade earlier this year and was impressed with it on-track, so looking forward to getting on the roads and seeing how it goes.”
“It’s going to be a special year with everything going on and also just getting back to the North West 200 and the TT and everyone racing there again – I can’t wait to get stuck in!”
The arrangement also sees McGuinness racing in next year’s North West 200 as well, where he will benefit from the pace of his teammate, who has been the victor four times already.
Conversely, Glenn Irwin will finally be making his TT debut during next year’s fortnight. Irwin has had to wait two years to race at the Isle of Man, as the races were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the worldwide pandemic.
As such, Glenn has been developing the Fireblade SP in the British Superbike championship with multiple wins and podiums.
Will the new Fireblade be a potent weapon around the Manx course, as it finally gets its road racing debut as well? Time will tell, but it will be good to see McPint on the Honda – as it should be.
Source: Honda Motor Europe