John McGuinness to Ride MD Racing Team Honda CBR600RR
The John McGuinness headlines continue ahead of this June’s 2018 Isle of Man TT.
First, the 23-time Isle of Man TT winner announced he would ride a Norton SG7 in the superbike races. This was followed Tuesday when McGuinness announced that he will pilot a KMR Kawasaki during the Lightweight TT.
But there was still zero news about what McGuinness would ride during the two Monster Energy Supersport races.
That answer arrived Wednesday, and it unites two of the TT’s top riders. The 45-year-old “Morecambe Missile” will compete alongside his biggest rival, 16-time TT winner Michael Dunlop, the nephew of the late Joey Dunlop who continues to hold the record for TT wins at 26.
They are both pairing up on Dunlop’s team bikes, MD Racing Honda CBR6000RR sportbikes. This is the first time MD Racing will use Honda CBR600RR machinery since 2015.
Last year Dunlop won the only Supersport race held (other was canceled due to weather) aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6. Dunlop also continues to hold the Supersport lap record of 128.667 mph, which was achieved during his double victory in 2013 aboard a Honda CBR6000RR.
McGuinness returns to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course after missing 2017 due to injuries sustained last May in a North West 200 crash. During the wreck, McGuinness broke his leg, back and some ribs.
McGuinness has won Supersport races in 2005 and 2006 aboard Yamaha and Honda machinery, respectively. Since 2006, McGuinness has ridden in the Supersport classes exclusively for Honda, claiming podiums in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013.
Since 2010 McGuinness has lined up in the colors of Padgetts Racing and, more recently the Jackson Racing team, finishing in the top five on no less than eight occasions with his most recent outing in 2016 when he earned fifth. His fastest lap in the Supersport category is a 127.210mph, which arrived in 2013.
“I’m excited to be riding Michael’s bike at this year’s TT,” John McGuinness says. “It’s started off as a bit of a joke conversation between us both and has developed into him going off and building me a bike.
“I’m a big fan of Michael’s both as a rider but also for what he has done in terms of running his own teams and winning races out the back of his van against the factory teams over the years. The Dunlop name means so much to TT fans and as a fan myself, I can’t wait to represent that name at this year’s event. We’ve won 38 TT’s between us so together we know what needs to be done and I am sure we will be right at the sharp end.”
“I hadn’t ever really planned on building another bike, but when John started talking to me about it, I thought it was a great idea and I couldn’t really say no, Michael Dunlop says.
“It’s good for me, it’s good for my team and no matter who you are, the man has won 23 TT races so there is always going to be something that can be learned by having him in working alongside you. People don’t see him as a 600cc rider, but he’s won races and had lots of podium finishes on a 600cc bike and I will give him a bike capable of winning on.”