Road Racing News

Norton, McGuinness Officially Join NW200 Entry List

After various hurdles to overcome, firm decisions been made, it’s great to see Norton finally confirmed to join the 2019 North West 200 entry list.

The iconic British marque, who stands fifth on the all time TT manufacturers winners list, NW200 return will see them run John McGuinness on the outfits SG8, Superlight mounts in the Superbike, Super Twin races.

Prior to today’s news, the main sticking point in stopping Norton’s presence on the coast roads, was the eligibility of the engine they was planning to use in their SG8 steed.

Instead of using the 1200cc engine unit, the machine block powering the chrome silver liveried SG8 will now be the trusty V4 Aprilia one, that has proven reliable and some at recent TT meetings.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Alongside Norton’s high profile event return, we shouldn’t forget as well that this May will mark John McGuinness first competitive action on the Triangle course, in over two years.

Banking testing miles a plenty in recent months, the International roads great when speaking about his NW200 return with Norton, candidly stated:

“It has taken a lot of sorting out but it has all come together at the 11th hour. I was at Rockingham last week and I have been banging in the miles at Bruntingthorpe, Anglesey, Cadwell, Croft, Castle Combe and Oulton.

I’ve had to be patient and it has been a long wait, but now I can’t wait to get stuck in at the North West. I matched the times I did on the Honda when we tested at Castle Combe, so the bike isn’t a million miles away.”

McGuinness went onto add:

“The engine is more powerful and the bike has lots of speed and stability. The team is good, the tyres are good and we have been doing the work.

I haven’t raced at the North West since I snapped my leg in half two years ago, but I am going into the event with an open mind and I am optimistic we can do OK.

I am excited but I will be nervous as well, especially going into Primrose where it nearly all ended two years ago. I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t.”

Adding about Super Twins class competition, aboard Norton’s highly rated new Superlight model, which turned heads last November at Motorcycle Live, he commented:

“I have ridden the twin at Rockingham and did 20 laps at Anglesey plus a few at Croft. I am still trying to understand the bike as it is new territory for me.

I’ve ridden 125’s, 250’s, electric bikes, all kinds during my career, but this is my first time on one of these.”

Providing additional comment on the latest major International Road Racing development, was Norton Owner, Stuart Garner, who stated:

“It is great to take the Norton brand back racing there, and to draw a line under what has been a dark chapter in John’s career. If we can get a respectable result as well we will be over the moon. A podium or a top ten finish would be great.”

Garner went onto explain, about why Norton will have just a 1 rider presence in next weeks NW200 Super Twins races:

“It has all been a bit last minute, and working with one rider is enough for us to deal with. We don’t have time to put together three bikes, and we don’t want to dilute our effort with John and the new bike.”

Words by Stevie Rial