2014 North West 200 PrepHonda Racing team will once again enter two pilots in this year’s North West 200 on the historic circuit which forms a triangle between the Northern Irish coastal towns of Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart.
The riders? Six-time North West 200 winner John McGuinnes and Conor Cummins, who will both compete in the Superbike double header. And to prep for the 2014 North West 200, which takes place May 13-17, with the Superbike races running the 17th, the Honda duo completed a two-day test at Castle Combe, Wiltshire.Though rain plagued the test, both riders got some positive testing completed on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP super bikes, testing Dunlop tires and various suspension setups.For McGuinness, this was the first time he rode since injuring his wrist while dirt training over six weeks ago. Honda reports the 20-time Isle of Man TT winner, known as the “Morecambe Missile,” has been undergoing intensive physiotherapy and was able to quickly regain his confidence aboard the Fireblade SP.John McGuinnes says “It’s great to get together with my road racing team, who are like family to me. It was looking like we weren’t going to get much done on Wednesday but all of a sudden the sun came out and we got a day’s work done in the afternoon.“I made a massive step forward with regards to getting on the bike after my injury. After my enduro crash I thought my season was over so I’m made up with how good I felt on the bike. I’m going home feeling much more confident about the North West and the TT and I can’t wait to ride my Fireblade in anger again.”As for Cummins, the test was his debut outing with the team, and the Manxman completed over 80 laps at the Castle Combe circuit. Honda reports Cummins left the test confident ahead of the 2014 North West 200, which first ran in 1929.Conor Cummins says: “I’m really happy, it’s all gone well, even with the bad weather. We got a full afternoon on track on Wednesday, it was action-packed and we finished on a high. We’ve got a good setting for the NW200 and I’m really looking forward to getting there now.“I just want to ride my bike! It was the first time I’d ridden it yesterday and it was just mega. It felt right straight away. I’m not going to be over-confident. I have a job to do and my only interest is in doing the best I can, but I’m really enjoying riding the bike and I can’t wait to race.”
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.