‘It could have been mint’
No-one knows more about
working with the Honda Racing team than John Mcguinness. The 23-times TT winner has ridden for the squad since 2006 and was destined to be Guy Martin’s mentor as they developed the new 2017 Fireblade. “We thought this new bike would be the step forward, but we haven’t had the time to develop it.
“It was the dream team for Honda really. They had the most experienced rider out there, the bloke with the most wins and then
Guy, who hasn’t won a TT but is very popular! It could have been mint, we could have worked off each other but he’s ended up on his own developing the bike.”
Mcguinness was sidelined by injury after a 100mph crash at the North West 200 in which it is understood the bike’s throttle opened by itself after he slowed for the corner. Honda immediately withdrew from the event and switched from Honda’s kit ignition system to the Motec system used by the BSB riders Jason O’halloran and Dan Linfoot.
Guy tested the new set-up at Castle Combe just before the TT and said he was happier with the bike. But he was left to carry the can of developing the Fireblade on his own at the same time as he was trying to familiarise himself with the Mountain circuit again after his year’s sabbatical.
“We never really found a base setting, so he’s found it difficult and with the lack of track time I’m sure that’s got his confidence down,” Mcguinness suggested. The Morecambe man also feels the changes within the Louthbased Honda Racing team haven’t made life easy for Guy.
“Neil Tuxworth is retiring and Jonny Twelvetrees has got the reins. It’s a real difficult one. They’ll learn from it. They’ll lick their wounds, go back, bash their heads together and make a plan for the future.”
‘We never really found a base setting and I’m sure that’s got his confidence down’