Nineteen-time TT race winner John McGuinness has confirmed that he will race in this year’s Lightweight TT onboard Honda’s all new CBR500R. The race is scheduled to take place ahead of this year’s PokerStars Senior TT, on Friday, June 7.
The Morecambe man will ride for Phil Morris’s RLR racing team, which has already begun preparing the all-new CBR500R. McGuinness last road for the team close to a decade ago when he took back-to-back victories at the Lightweight TT onboard a Honda VFR400.
Phil Morris (Team Owner) says: “We got the new bike delivered last week and we’ve already spent time with it on the dyno. We know we have a lot to do, but it’s an exciting opportunity and John is really up for it. We have a great bike and the best rider so the aim is to be on the top step of the podium this year.”
Last year’s Lightweight race was dominated by riders onboard Kawasaki’s ER6. Ryan Farquhar took a convincing win with a time of 59:29.27 (114.155mph) from James Hillier with Michael Rutter completing the podium. Michael Rutter clocked the fastest lap of the inaugural race and his time of 19:35.45 (115.554) will be the benchmark to beat in 2013.
The top eight positions in the 2012 event, the first TT run for SuperTwin machines, were all secured by Kawasaki riders, but the dynamic of the race is set to change in 2013 with McGuinness’s entry.
Ryan Farquhar has retired from racing, but will however continue to field a team while Suzuki are bolstering their efforts with a bigger presence of riders using their SV650 and Honda are now back on the scene with McGuiness and their CBR500R.
John McGuinness says: “It was strange sitting on the sidelines last year while the race was on, particularly as the Senior was cancelled as well. It’s an interesting class and will present different challenges to the other races but I’m looking forward to having a crack. The team undoubtedly has a lot to do in a short space of time to be ready but I’ve got every faith in them.”
Paul Phillips (TT and Motorsport Manager, Isle of Man Government) says: “The class continues to go from strength to strength and it will undoubtedly attract more interest this year with broader manufacturer involvement. John’s entry will also further add to the race and I’m sure he’ll be going all out to add to his TT titles.”