Morecambe Missile on cloud nine with Honda

John McGuinness with new Honda team-mate Conor Cummins. Picture: Dave Kneen - Manx Photos Online
John McGuinness with new Honda team-mate Conor Cummins. Picture: Dave Kneen - Manx Photos Online

John McGuinness will start his 25th season of road racing as a Honda rider once more after signing for Honda Motor Europe to contest the 2014 Isle of Man TT and North West 200 road racing events.

The 20-time TT winner, and new team-mate Conor Cummins, were presented to the public on the main stage at Saturday’s Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham and will form a strong two-man team competing aboard the 2014 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in the Superbike and Senior races.

It will be the Morecambe Missile’s ninth consecutive season of riding for the Japanese giant, a partnership that has seen him enjoy the most successful period of his illustrious career.

McGuinness said: “I’m really glad to be staying with Honda to continue the strong relationship we’ve built up in road racing over the years.

“Having been with the team since 2006, they’re like family to me and it’s important that I have support that I know I can rely on 100 per cent.

“The support from the management and the mechanics is the best I could possibly wish for.

“It’s great news that Conor will be joining the team too. I have a lot of respect for him – he’s young, he’s hungry for it and he has so much passion for racing. It will be a pleasure to be his team-mate.

“This year proved that there’s life in the old dog yet, so I can’t wait to get back on the Fireblade and see what we can do.”

The 2013 Isle of Man TT proved that at 41 years old, McGuinness is still the man to beat on the Mountain course as he set a new outright lap record of 131.671mph during the Superbike race and took an epic Senior victory to rack up his 20th win and 41st podium, the latter a new record in the 106-year history of the event.

As well as the deal with Honda Motor Europe for the Superbike races, the Morecambe ace will also continue his relationship with the Padgetts of Batley concern in the Superstock and Supersport classes on the roads.

He will also contest selected rounds of the National Superstock 1000cc Championship for the Yorkshire motorcycle dealers whilst also making a return to the Classic TT in August where he’ll again line up on Roger Winfield’s 500cc Paton.

To complete a busy year, McGuinness will again compete in the TT Zero race for Shinden Mugen Honda.

He said: “I’m also delighted to be working with Clive (Padgett) once more.

“No one is more passionate about their racing than the Padgetts and they continue to give me the best possible support I could wish for, both on and off the track.

“We’ve enjoyed a lot of success in the past few years and have a great chance of achieving more of the same in 2014.”