HONDA READY FOR TT CELEBRATIONS

Honda is looking forward to this year’s 100 th Anniversary TT races with one of the strongest line-ups ever in both solo and sidecar classes.

In 1954, the company’s founder Soichiro Honda vowed to take part in the Isle of Man TT races and five years later on May 5 th 1959 a party of four riders and five engineers set foot on Manx soil to begin Honda’s love-affair with the Tourist Trophy races. The first year saw a sixth, seventh, eighth and tenth place claiming the Manufacturers’ title, but just two years later Honda won its first race in the hands of legendary rider Mike Hailwood. Its riders had dominated practice for the 1961 Ultra Lightweight TT and Hailwood led a sweep of five Hondas in the top six placings, which he followed-up with a win in the Lightweight TT later the same day.

Since then Honda has carried on winning at the TT – its current tally of victories stands at 130 – and Honda Racing currently holds the outright lap record of 129.451mph which John McGuinness set last year on-board his HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. With changes to the course, many think that a 130mph lap will be possible, given the right conditions. Whatever happens to the lap record, the 100 th TT celebrations is sure to make this Isle of Man TT fortnight the best ever.

 

Honda Racing Manager and former TT competitor himself, Neil Tuxworth says: “The Isle of Man TT means so very much to Honda and it’s been the cornerstone of its racing efforts for the last 48 years. With 130 wins, we’re equal with Yamaha, so we obviously want to take victory in as many races as we can and move ahead of our road-racing rival. Besides the racing, the centenary TT fortnight promises to be an amazing spectacle with a real birthday atmosphere. We’re all looking forward to it.”

Honda’s rider line-up comprises:

John McGuinness
The 35-year-old from Morecambe is the man to beat around the 37.73 mile mountain course and this year, he competes in the Superbike, Senior and Superstock class for HM Plant Honda Racing and Padgetts Honda in the Supersport class. The outright lap record holder and 11-times TT winner relishes the event every year. He commented: “I’m out there to enjoy myself at this year’s 100 th TT event. I’m so looking forward to it – it’s the highlight of my racing year. I’m going to enjoy it and do my best and hopefully come away with the results that both Honda and I are hoping for.”

Ian Hutchinson
With a 125mph+ lap already under his belt this could be a very big year for the Yorkshireman. He will take part in the Superbike, Supersport, Senior and Superstock races for HM Plant Honda Racing. The 27-year-old only began his racing career at 21, but has ridden swiftly to the top of his profession. He says: “It’s great to be part of Honda’s official team – especially alongside John. He’s been helping me out a bit for a little while now so I’d say he’s one of the biggest influences in my road-racing career so far. I just hope I can do the business for Honda and myself.”

Dave Molyneux and Rick Long
Dave is a TT legend. Not only is he an 11-time TT winner, he’s also the sidecar lap record holder at 116.044mph, he makes his own sidecar chassis and he’s a local from the Island, putting his local knowledge to good use around the 37.73 miles mountain circuit. This year, Moly is partnered by Rick Long, who has already experienced a TT win from the chair, in their HM Plant Honda CBR600RR sidecar. Moly says: “This year’s TT is going to be so special. I love every part of the circuit, but the real challenge lies in putting all the bits together to make that one, fast lap.”

 

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