Let’s say from 2020 onwards you suddenly found yourself tasked with righting the ship at Norton Motorcycles. Regardless of your personal feelings about everything that has happened before, running such a historic business is no small feat. The weight of expectations – both within the company and the world – must be simply staggering.
Still, interim CEO John Russell is nothing if not extremely game. Watch or listen to the man’s interviews since taking that difficult position, and it’s nearly impossible not to walk away with that feeling. For him, Norton’s glory days weren’t just a story from the history books. The company’s unmatched racing heritage is something he grew up with. It’s a powerful mix of expectations, possibilities, craftsmanship and pride, and he knows it well.
So, it’s probably not surprising that the new Norton is already planning a return to the Isle of Man TT. Some might say this is a tenuous time, given the current state of affairs around COVID. Still, isn’t this the time to stop when it’s best to start making your plans? If no one is racing next week, that gives you even more time to get everything as perfectly as possible. Granted, if you’re the type of person who thrives on working on schedule, you might need a moment to adjust, but you can do it.
“Norton is inextricably linked to racing, and in particular to TT. It has to be part of who we are in the future. How do we get back, when we get back, who we partner with, what’s the bike, all of those things are yet to come, ”said Russell VisorDown in an interview. You can read it all here.
Of course, you could say, there aren’t any concrete plans yet – but every concrete plan starts with a discussion somewhere along the way. If Russell says something like that in an interview, you know he’s had a lot of in-camera conversations about it within the company before. We don’t know how far someone from Norton has gone in the planning stages. At this point, it’s just nice to think about what we might see in the future. Clearer days for Norton, the Isle of Man TT and riders around the world!