It was a bit of shock when we learned that John McGuinness would not be riding for the Honda Pro Racing outfit at this year’s Isle of Man TT, instead getting a gig riding with Norton for the Superbike and Senior TT races.
Now, we get news that the 23-time Isle of Man TT race-winner has another trick up his sleeve, this time involving his Supersport TT plans.
We still can’t believe we are saying this, but John McGuinness will mount his 600cc campaign hopes with Michael Dunlop’s team, riding an MD Racing Honda CBR600RR in this year’s Supersport TT races.
We had to check today’s date to be certain, as McGuinness and Dunlop are fierce rivals, and both are chasing the outright record of TT race wins (26), set by Joey Dunlop. Seeing them race under the same colors will certainly be a sight for this year’s Isle of Man TT.
McGuinness is typically not known for his Supersport TT prowess, with his last win in the class coming over a decade ago (2006), and his last podium in the class coming in 2013.
Both those results came on a Honda CBR600RR, which hasn’t changed too much since, for better or worse. But, the MD Racing squad has shown consistently good results in the class, so it will be interesting to see if that changes McPint’s fortunes.
“I’m excited to be riding Michael’s bike at this year’s TT,” said McGuinness. “It’s started off as a bit of a joke conversation between us both and has developed into him going off and building me a bike.”
“I’m a big fan of Michael’s both as a rider but also for what he has done in terms of running his own teams and winning races out the back of his van against the factory teams over the years.”
“The Dunlop name means so much to TT fans and as a fan myself, I can’t wait to represent that name at this year’s event. We’ve won 38 TT’s between us so together we know what needs to be done and I am sure we will be right at the sharp end,” McGuinness finished.
“I hadn’t ever really planned on building another bike, but when John started talking to me about it, I thought it was a great idea and I couldn’t really say no,” added Michael Dunlop.
“It’s good for me, it’s good for my team and no matter who you are, the man has won 23 TT races so there is always going to be something that can be learnt by having him in working alongside you.”
“People don’t see him as a 600cc rider, but he’s won races and had lots of podium finishes on a 600cc bike and I will give him a bike capable of winning on.”
Source: IOMTT; Photos: Stephen Davidson