Honda TT Legends TeamThe Honda TT Legends team will field a five-rider lineup for the 2013 Endurance World Championship and two famed international road-racing events – the Isle of Man TT and the North West 200.Competing aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade in the four-round Endurance World Championship will be 19-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness, Cameron Donald, 2011 fastest TT newcomer, Simon Andrews, and 13-time North West 200 winner and three-time TT winner Michael Rutter.During the TT and North West 200, three riders will contest aboard for the Honda TT Legends team – McGuinness, Rutter and three-time TT winner Michael Dunlop.Also for 2013, the CBR1000RR gets a new look, which replicates the tri-color design of the production model, “re-affirming the close affinity between race machine and its road-going relative.”The bikewas unveiled at Motorcycle Live in the UK while McGuinness, Andrews, Rutter and Dunlop were on hand for a Q&A with commentator James Whitham. Donald was not in attendance.Neil Tuxworth (Honda TT Legends Team Manager) says: “We’re very pleased to have a really strong team both for World Endurance and the road races this year. The team that we’ve put together for both disciplines means we are in a much stronger position than last year. Bringing Rutter into the EWC team is a very positive addition, he’s a rider with a lot of experience, he’s quick but also safe and we feel he will improve the strength of the team all round. Looking at the road racing, we’ve haven’t run a three-man squad for a number of years now.“It’s quite significant that not only are we running three riders but we are bringing Michael Dunlop in as one of those three. He’s a young rider that already has three TT wins under his belt and we feel that he is the future of road racing. With Dunlop, McGuinness and Rutter – who of course have both been very successful on the roads – we have a very strong line-up for 2013.”John McGuinness (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “I’m really pleased to be involved with the team again. For EWC, I know the tracks, I know the bike and we’re ready to start upping our game even more. We’ve done well during the development stage over the last couple of years but this is the year for us to fight for the podium and challenge for the championship. As for the roads, it’s second nature for me now.“I love working with the same crew that I’ve been with for so many years. The whole package just works and I don’t want to change that. I’m ready to get stuck in and hopefully get some more wins.”Michael Rutter (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “I’m really excited to be riding with the Honda TT Legends next year. Endurance is not something I have done before so that’s going to be a great experience and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do there. I’ve obviously got a history with the Louth-based team as I did BSB and the roads with them for a couple of years in 2004/2005, so I’m familiar with the Fireblade and I know the crew well. It will be good to be back with the team and I’m really happy to back with Honda.”Michael Dunlop (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “This is a big opportunity for me with both Honda and Dunlop and it’s an honour to be riding for them so I’m looking forward to getting started. People are asking me how it will be for me having John as a team-mate but when we get on the bike it will be the same. I get on well with John but I don’t worry about anybody else when I’m on track. As a team we’ve got a great line-up with Rutter as well so it’ll be a pretty good show.”Cameron Donald (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “I am excited to be part of the Honda TT Legends team for the 2013 EWC season. Endurance has been a huge learning curve for me as its such a unique discipline of racing. I am confident that the 2013 bike, crew and rider line-up will be more competitive than ever and we’ll hopefully be ready to challenge for podiums from the first race. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t be at Motorcycle Live to join my team-mates today but I’m at home in Australia. I’m looking forward to seeing them all at the racetrack in 2013!”Simon Andrews (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “I’m looking forward to another season with the team in EWC. I get on well with everyone and it’s great to have Rutter involved this year too. We’re more established now and with some changes to the bike things are looking positive, so we’re in with a much greater chance. It’s a really close knit team and from the outset I think we can improve on our results to better last year’s fourth place finish.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.