John McGuinness signs with Honda Racing for the 2022 Isle of Man TT


As revealed in the newsletter earlier this month, the Morecambe man will make a 100th start next year on the Fireblade CBR1000RR-R as the TT gears up for a comeback for the first time since 2019 at the series of consecutive cancellations in 2020 and again this year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

McGuinness is also set to compete in the North West 200 in May, where he will pilot the latest Fireblade on the roads for the first time in Northern Ireland.

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of Honda’s iconic Fireblade and it will be a fitting reunion as the famous English driver renews his ties with Honda for the defining moment of his illustrious career next June.

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John McGuinness at Union Mills en route to his 23rd and most recent Isle of Man TT victory over the Honda Racing Fireblade in the 2015 Senior. Photo: Dave Kneen / Pacemaker Press.

McGuinness, who claimed his 23rd and most recent TT victory in the 2015 Senior, is the second most successful driver in the history of the most famous road race in the world behind Joey Dunlop of Ulster (26 wins) .

He will be 50 by the time he returns to Bray Hill in 2022, but McGuinness is hopeful that a return to the team where he has been so successful over the years will allow him to rekindle former glories.

It was a partnership that many believed was definitely over after the Honda star McGuinness was kicked out of the 2017 season following an accident during Superbike qualifying at the North West 200, caused by a throttle problem.

His injuries included a fractured right leg, which he fractured again the following year, causing McGuinness to miss TT again. He parted ways with Honda in early 2018 and signed for Stuart Garner’s Norton team – a company that ended in bitter disappointment after McGuinness withdrew from Superbike racing in 2019 and was forced to quit the first round of the Senior TT following an engine bolt.

John McGuinness’s long career at Honda ended with an accident during Superbike qualifying at the North West 200 in 2017. Photo: Stephen Davison / Pacemaker Press.

The 49-year-old then signed a deal with Pete Extance’s Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki team for 2020, but the global coronavirus crisis effectively wiped out the road racing schedule for the next two seasons.

Speaking to Manx Radio recently about his new contract, McGuinness said: “It’s a great package and I feel like I might just go home, maybe put on the old slippers that I know.

“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 faith in your team and all on the same page, and where we ‘re going next year. , we are all very excited about this.

Ulsterman Glenn Irwin, who has signed with Honda Racing UK for a third season in the British Superbike Championship, is also eager to race TT in 2022 after being forced to put his long-awaited debut on hold for the past two years.

However, the question of whether or not this opportunity will present itself with Honda next season was not set in stone when its new deal for 2022 was announced a few weeks ago.

The Isle of Man TT 2022 is scheduled to take place from May 29 to June 11.

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