Mcguinness targets more TT wins + MSV take over Donington
New bike and new team-mate are extrae motivation for TT legend
TT legend John Mcguinness believes Honda’s all-new Fireblade SP2 could be the magic ingredient he needs to edge closer to Joey Dunlop’s record of 26 wins on the Isle of Man.
After a somewhat disappointing 2016, which saw the Morecambe Missile fail to add to his impressive win tally, Mcguinness is hoping the new bike will be the rejuvenation he needs to fight with Ian Hutchinson, Michael Dunlop and new team-mate, Guy Martin.
“I’ve been waiting for a new Blade for years,” Mcguinness told MCN. “We had fantastic success on the old one, but this new bike is looking good. It’s got a bit more power, a few tweaks here and there, is lighter and has more electronics. I’m really looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get my teeth into it now.
“At the end of last year I found myself at a junction and I needed to either hang my boots up or have another crack with this new bike. This is my 27th season racing, so it’s sometimes hard to keep the motivation up. I don’t suppose I ever really thought I would stop this year, the problem is I still love sticking the helmet on!”
Having finished a clear third to Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson in the 2016 Senior TT, Mcguinness knows there’s work to be done if he is to close the gap, but he’s confident the power boost from the all-new CBR1000RR engine should be enough make the difference when the action kicks off from May 27.
“I’ve got to believe in myself as a rider and I do believe with the extra power of the new bike we can run with Hutchy and Michael. I have to believe I can still match them, the only advantage they had over me last year was straight-line speed.
“I don’t think they went around the corners any faster or braked any harder than me, maybe I was a bit lazy at the start when they were really strong. I was the first man to shake their hands – 133.9mph is unbelievable, it took a
‘He jibbers on, I jibber on, we’re both bike fans and love engines’ JOHN MCGUINNESS
massive chunk out of my lap record.”
Mcguinness will be joined in the Honda Racing camp by fans’ favourite Guy Martin, something he claims will be further motivation as he goes for glory on the 37.73-mile mountain course later this year.
“I’ve been scratching my head these past few weeks thinking who my teammate could be but I didn’t think they’d sign Guy! I certainly didn’t see that coming, but I’m quite excited by it; he’s someone who is totally different and I quite like people with personalities, people who are a bit quirky.
“I’ve worked with Michael, Hutchy, Conor, I’ve had so many different team-mates and now Guy. It’s going to be very interesting. In the hour or so we’ve just been at the workshop I’ve spoken to him more than I have in 20 years of racing together. He jibbers on, I jibber on, we’re both bike fans and into cars and whatever else with engines in it. We’ll get on really well.
“There’s no doubt he’s got the minerals, he’s been around there at 132mph and there aren’t many people who have done that. If he concentrates on his racing there is no reason he can’t be right at the sharp end.
“There’s no reason I can’t beat him, it won’t be easy as he’s just one of half-a-dozen riders that can win but of course, the first person you want to beat is your team-mate. He’s got some talent, and if he applies himself he can be a force to be reckoned with.”
No matter how hard Mcguinness rode, the old Blade didn’t have the speed
Who can doubt that we are in for a vintage Isle of Man TT this year? The waiting is over as the new Blade emerges