Post various paddock whispers, intrigue, debate, 23 times TT winner John McGuinness MBE is confirmed to make a shock return to the factory Honda Racing squad for the 2022 TT Races.
After his spill in 2017 at the North West 200 aboard the troublesome CBR 1000RR Fireblade SP2, few would have predicted seeing the ‘Morecambe Missile’ back piloting Honda machinery.
Fast forward four years and the combination that has enjoyed together no less than ten big bike TT victories, is ready to work together again.
Speaking recently about his decision to compete again in Honda colours around the illustrious, fabled, mythical Mountain Course, McGuinness MBE who is set to chalk up 100 TT starts during TT 2022, stated:
“What can I say really, it’s like coming back home to the family! I’ve been in talks for a while with Neil and Harv and it’s just something that feels right; it’s the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade, I’ll be 50 years old and also celebrating my 100th TT start, so it feels like it’s meant to be.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of success on the roads with the Honda and worked with Harv back in the day with HM Plant Honda, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the set-up and getting going.”
The second most successful TT racer in history, who will pilot next year at the TT, North West 200 CBR 1000RR-R Fireblade machinery, including a special 30th anniversary livery steed celebrating the Fireblade model’s place in Honda’s incredible racing history, added:
“I had a little go on the Fireblade earlier this year and was impressed with it on-track, so looking forward to getting on the roads and seeing how it goes.
It’s going to be a special year with everything going on and also just getting back to the North West 200 and the TT and everyone racing there again – I can’t wait to get stuck in!”
Honda Racing Team Manager Havier Beltran provided additional comment:
“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to work with John on a deal for 2022, it’s going to be an exciting season for us all with the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade and John’s 100th TT start and for him to do this back with Honda just made complete sense.
Honda has so much history with John at the TT and 12 of the 20 wins for the CBR1000RR Fireblade have been with him, so for us all this is very much a homecoming.
We also have Glenn, who will finally make his debut at the TT, which has been a long time coming, but we’re all really excited for this and to see how he gets on.
There’s absolutely no pressure on Glenn, it’s about learning and finding his way at the TT, and with John’s experience, I don’t think he could ask for a better teammate to learn from.
From a Honda point of view, this will be Honda UK’s first time back at both the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT races since 2010, so we’re all excited to get back on the roads with the new Fireblade.”
Quotes via Honda Racing UK website
Photo via Honda Racing UK website
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou