Mcguin­ness tar­gets more TT wins + MSV take over Don­ing­ton

New bike and new team-mate are ex­trae mo­ti­va­tion for TT leg­end

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - MCN SPORT RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­

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

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