Led by McGuinness, Honda TT Legends Set for North West 200

19-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness during 2012 North West 200

19-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness during 2012 North West 200

2013 North West 200 Road Race

One of the most anticipated teams for the 2013 international road racing season is without a doubt Honda TT Legends.

The team features a lineup filled with talent, such as the three riders that arrived in Northern Ireland this week for the North West 200 – 19-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinnes, Michael Rutter and Michael Dunlop.

The three riders, which will compete on the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade, are currently practicing on the 8.9-mile course where the 2013 North West 200 will occur with races Thursday and Saturday. During Tuesday’s practice, one-time North West 200 winner Dunlop dominated the SBK session; Rutter was seventh while McGuinness was ninth fastest.

This will be McGuinness’ 20th year competing at the North West 200, and he took the Superbike victory there last season.

Newly-signed Rutter first competed in 1992, and has achieved nine of his 13 NW200 wins in the Superbike class. These North West veterans will be joined by newly-recruited Dunlop.

John McGuinness (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “This is my 20th year at the North West 200 and I’m feeling really positive. I know the drill, I know the bike, I’ve got all my usual crew around me and I’m looking forward to it. We tested at Castle Combe a couple of weeks ago and managed to fit in plenty of laps and get a good set up on the bike so we’re ready to go. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for decent weather on race day but everything is in place for a good result.

“It should be a interesting battle with me and the two Michael’s all on the same team. A 1-2-3 TT Legends podium is not impossible and as long as I’m on the middle step I’ll be happy with that!”

Michael Rutter (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “It’s good to be back at the North West and of course it would be nice to get another win, but it’s one of those places that you just never know what is going to happen until race day. We’re pretty well prepared after the test at Castle Combe and I’m looking forward to it.

“We’ve got a strong line-up and we’re aiming for the podium. Obviously John did a great job here last year and Michael Dunlop is definitely going to be one to watch out for too – he’s flying. Let’s see what happens when we all get on the bike.”

Michael Dunlop (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “I’m looking forward to the first road racing event with the TT Legends. The two-day test we did at Castle Combe ended well. I got a lot of miles in and did some good work with my mechanics to get the bike ready for the North West.

“I’m not really feeling any extra pressure other than that I put on myself. I’ve just got to do what I do and ride as hard as I can and hopefully we’ll get the results.”

Neil Tuxworth (Honda TT Legends Team Manager) says: “We’re very happy to be at the North West 200 with one of our strongest ever line-ups. Not only are we running three riders in the Superbike class, but they are three of the very top riders in road racing.

“McGuinness and Rutter have multiple NW200 wins between them and they know this race very well, while Dunlop is without a doubt the rising star with a great future ahead of him. All three are capable of getting on the podium and winning races, so we’re looking forward to seeing what the event holds.”

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