MONTH IN BIKES

Performance Bikes (UK) - - Contents -

Why McGuin­ness to Nor­ton is a smart move, plus all the news that mat­ters.

RAC­ING’S MOST well­known se­cret fi­nally went pub­lic last month, with McGuin­ness (pic­tured) sign­ing up for Stu­art Garner’s Nor­ton TT team, end­ing an 11-year stint with Honda Rac­ing. Last year’s NW200 crash clearly left a bad taste in McGuin­ness’s mouth as well as sev­eral cen­time­tres of leg to re­grow.

But hop­ping on the Nor­ton SG is a surprise move (un­doubt­edly gen­er­ous pay packet aside). With Tyco BMW still only at one full-time rider, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if McPint had opted to ride the bike that eclipsed his beloved ’08-’16 Blade’s roads prowess.

Cyn­ics rushed to sug­gest John was tak­ing a fat wedge to see out his last years of com­pe­ti­tion: PB thinks they’re vastly un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the duo. De­spite some tough times early on, his re­cu­per­a­tion has gone well.

“The bone has cal­ci­fied well, and I’ve not had any in­fec­tions in the bone as Hutchy did first time round – I had a cou­ple in the flesh but some pills sorted those. I’ve been on the spin bike and in the hy­drother­apy pool to build it back up gen­tly. I’ve got mo­bil­ity and con­trol of the joints, too,” he told ed­i­tor Chris.

By the time you read this, the cage will be off, and he can step up train­ing and look at test­ing. When he does swing that leg over the Nor­ton, he’ll be on a bike far re­moved from the ‘Spon­don Aprilia’ lash-ups the team ran early on: although it still runs the Noale mo­tor, the rest of the bike has learnt a lot of lessons in its time under Cameron Don­ald, Davo John­son and Josh Brookes: last year it lapped in the 130s on a sub-prime course, with min­i­mal prac­tice time, and Brookes’ course knowl­edge a lit­tle lapsed.

The bike isn’t chang­ing much for this year: the alien-level talent and course knowl­edge of McG is the biggest po­ten­tial leap. If his phys­i­cal con­di­tion con­tin­ues to im­prove, his pres­ence on one of the podium steps this year is a very real pos­si­bil­ity.

The cage is off his leg and he’s ready to go

Top six fin­ishes for the Nor­ton last year bode well

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