John McGuinness will look to continue his remarkable Isle of Man TT record of success in 2022 with a surprise return to the Honda works team, it has been reported.
The second most successful rider to ever face the road racing festival, McGuinness currently holds 23 Mountain Course wins, just three behind overall record holder Joey Dunlop with 26 wins.
Many of those victories have been on Honda machines, with McGuinness enjoying a long and successful tenure with Honda dating back to 2006. This ended in 2018 following an accident – caused by a throttle – on the North West 200 that left him with a broken leg.
On his return to action, he teamed up with ambitious but ultimately cash-strapped Norton before planning to switch to 2020 Kawasaki machines just before the cancellation of this year’s Isle of Man TT in due to the coronavirus.
With this year’s edition also being phased out, free agent McGuinness has therefore sought a new deal which – according to a reputable road racing source, Northern Ireland newspaper “The Newsletter” – the will see back on Honda factory machines for 2022.
The new contract comes after McGuinness admitted the two-year hiatus between TT events could force him to retire, but instead he will be able to ride the latest generation Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblades for what should be a full road racing campaign.
“It’s a great package and I feel like I might just go home, maybe put on the old slippers I know,” said McGuinness – who will be starting his 100th start next year, Manx Radio said
“But I can’t say too much about it, but the bottom line with TT is you have to be happy, you have to have confidence in your team and all on the same page, and where we’re going year round next, we’re all very excited about this.
“It was weird getting to my 100th start so I’m feeling a little bit of pressure, but I shouldn’t really feel any pressure because it’s just going to be another race.
“I have nothing more to prove and I still love to cross, I still love to ride on spot and I still enjoy everything about it.
“I miss the people, I miss the bikes, the atmosphere – there’s only one place like it and the Isle of Man is so unique, and I loved every minute of it.”
McGuinness is expected to be teamed up with BSB Honda rider Glenn Irwin, who will make his TT debut after already enjoying success in a Ducati at the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix.