A lot of action has occurred for this year’s Isle of Man TT, and yet not a single bike has circulated the Mountain Course in anger yet.
We saw the unfortunate news that Bruce Anstey would sit out this year of racing, as he starts a new battle with cancer. We also saw John McGuinness jump ship from Honda to Norton, and then join forces with rival Michael Dunlop in the supersport class.
Adding to the news, Team Mugen announced an unheard of three-rider lineup for the TT Zero race, though today we learn that those plans have had to change, with now Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter headlining a two-man team for Mugen.
The cause for this change? John McGuinness re-fracturing his healing leg (14 months after initially breaking it), and thus unable to compete on the electric superbike.
The news is obviously a huge blow to the Team Mugen squad, which has already had to change its rider lineup after hearing the news of Bruce Anstey, but for TT fans it surely doesn’t bode well for seeing one of the biggest road racing stars on the TT course.
We have yet to hear from the man himself or any of his other teams about its racing plans, but if McGuinness is unable to compete on the relatively easier to ride Mugen Shinden Nana electric superbike for its one-lap race, it certainly doesn’t bode well for his intentions in the other classes.
There is always the chance the McGuinness could be saving his fragile body for just a bid in just a single class – perhaps on the Norton for the Senior TT race, and thus is doing away with his extra riding duties, though we find that notion to be highly unlikely.
McGuinness’s initial leg injury required over a year to heal (one could argue that in that timeframe it still didn’t fully heal), which included the use of an external fixation device (a large metal cage) to hold the bones together.
We expect to hear more about McGuinness’s 2018 Isle of Man TT plans in the coming days. Stay tuned for more information as we get it.
Source: Team Mugen; Photo: © 2017 Steve English – All Rights Reserved