Vauxhall International North West 200 – Honda Racing Duo Happy With Superbike Display

Vauxhall International North West 200 – Honda Racing Duo Happy With Superbike Display

Honda Racing duo John McGuinness and Conor Cummins, where both happy with their performances, in the opening superbike race, at the Vauxhall International North West 200.

Having qualified eighth and twelfth on the grid, both riders made solid starts to the six lap race. John McGuinness holding sixth place on lap four, was in contention for a podium finish, when the race was red flagged.

This meant that John finished sixth, commenting on a productive week of competition at the Giant Causeway based meeting, John said:

“The start of the race was a little frustrating, I got a good jump off the line, but as I was in the middle of the third row and with a good start it was really tight on the grid so I had nowhere to go, so didn’t get away well, which was annoying and I did think I was going to get smoked in the race.

I settled for a lap or two and felt in some places I was stronger than the others and then in other places the other guys were quicker.

But I found my rhythm and Conor and I had a bit of battle, which was fun and I managed to get past him in the end.

I did my best from the start to the red flag and I felt competitive throughout the race, and throughout the whole week in fact.

The CBR never missed a beat and I managed 204mph, which is the fastest I have ever been round here.

It’s such a tough race and there’s ten riders who are on the pipe pushing hard, so if you’re in that group you’re not doing bad!

But I’d like to be a little further up that group! We made some changes to the Fireblade ready for race two, but due to the incident in the Supertwin race the rest of the races have been cancelled. I’d like to send my condolences to the riders’ family, friends and team.”


Photo by Rod Neill

Whilst for Conor Cummins seventh place finish, was a decent result, having been involved in a close fought battle with his Honda Racing team mate, the sixth fastest rider in TT history, said:

“Well we’ve come to the end of the North West 200 and we’re leaving with a seventh place finish in the Superbike race, where we were in the mix from the get go.

We didn’t get a good lap in on Thursday due to the red flag unfortunately, which set us back a little on the grid, but I did get a good start in the race and really made progress.

I felt good on the CBR and we went faster and faster and it’s unfortunate and under difficult circumstances that racing for the day has been abandoned.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone concerned at this moment in time. The Fireblade has been good all week and we made a big step forward, we did make some changes ready for the second race and I feel like we would have been further up the field.

Massive thanks to the Honda Racing crew for giving me such a great machine and putting in the hours to make it right for me.”

Honda Racing team manager, Neil Tuxtworth, added:

“The weather at the North West 200 has been excellent for the first time in ten years and everything has been going well for the team.

The Superbike race was unfortunately stopped early due to a red flag incident with three laps remaining and John finished sixth with Conor in seventh.

John’s pace in the race was very good on the CBR and even after a bad start he set the third fastest lap of the race and was only 1.2 seconds off the second fastest time.

Conor finished in seventh place, which we’re very happy with, especially with him not managing to get a lot of track time on Thursday.

Both riders and also the Fireblade have shown great pace and have been very competitive all week, and we now look forward to turning our focus to the Isle of Man TT.

The rest of the days races were brought to an end after an incident in the Supertwin class and we extend our thoughts to everyone involved.”

Words by Stevie Rial

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