2017 Honda Racing Team: John McGuiness & Guy Martin
Two of the most celebrated international road racers–John McGuinness and Guy Martin–will team up on the 2017 Honda Racing Team.The Brits will compete aboard the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, which Ultimate Motorcycling is currently reviewing at Portimao, during the 2017 Isle of Man TT and the North West 200.
McGuinness, who has piloted Honda CBR machinery since 1997, has 23 Isle of Man TT wins—three behind the record held by the late Joey Dunlop. The 44-year-old “Morecambe Missile” will surely seek redemption at this year’s TT to regain the lap record, which was robbed last year by Michael Dunlop on the BMW S 1000 RR (133.962mph).“I’m back with Honda for another year; really I’m part of the family, and I can’t wait to see what the new Fireblade SP2 can do! I know the old model like the back of my hand and have taken a lot of my TT wins with the old girl, so I can’t wait to get out on track and try the new machine out,” McGuinness says.“I have a good feeling about this year and think we have a really good package to show that we mean business. I of course would like another TT win and I would quite like my lap record back! I always say when it’s broken that the lads are just borrowing it and I hope this year that this is the case.“I am sad to say bye to the old Fireblade; I have a lot of history and good memories with that bike, but testing the new model can’t come soon enough and neither can the race season. I’m excited to have Guy as my new teammate; we’ve enjoyed many a racing battle over the years and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can both do.”Guy Martin, who has piloted mostly Suzuki GSX-R and BMW S 1000 RR machinery since 2010, makes his return to racing after a two-year hiatus. Martin has never won at the TT, but has claimed 15 podiums and is a fan favorite. The 35-year-old Grimsby native has wins at the Ulster GP, Scarborough Gold Cup, Armoy, Cookstown and also the Southern 100.“Neil (Tuxworth, Honda Racing Team Manager) has been talking to me for a while about joining the team, but I had a lot of thinking to do before I committed and said yes,” Martin says.“I spent a lot of time on my pushbike to and from work, thinking about what to do. I didn’t want to grow old regretting not giving the Honda a go, and the more time passes since making the decision, the more I’ve thought it is the right decision. Honda is a great team and the Fireblade has always been a weapon on the roads, so with the new bike, I‘m keen to give it a go. We’ve got a busy testing schedule coming up and I’ve put some other stuff off to make time. John [McGuinness] is the man, I’ve got massive respect for him and I’m looking forward to racing on the Fireblade against him.”Tuxworth also commented: ”We have two new members joining the Honda Racing team this year with Guy signing and the new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. John is part of the furniture really, but it’s great to have him back with us for another year – it wouldn’t be the same without him!“I really feel with Guy and John, and of course the new Fireblade, that we have a strong team ready to tackle the roads this year. Guy is hungry for his first TT win and John wants another and his lap record back, so this mixed with the new CBR1000RR means we should be in for some exciting racing action.“The new Fireblade SP2 is so important to the team and also Honda and it’s vital we continue its legacy at the TT and add more to its 23 wins. We’re all looking forward to testing and I think everyone from the riders and the team are all excited to get on track and put the new machine through its paces.”The team’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2s are race enhanced, and feature a revised cylinder head, larger valve sizes and lightweight Marchesini wheels.
John McGuinness & Guy Martin Team Up on Honda Racing Team | Photo Gallery
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!