John McGuinness in action at the 2012 NW200

John McGuinness in action at the 2012 NW200

The Honda TT Legends’ 2013 road racing campaign begins this week with the North West 200. The team has arrived in Northern Ireland with its new three-rider line-up of John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and Michael Dunlop – all of whom will compete in the Superbike class aboard the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade.

It’s 20 years since McGuinness’s NW200 debut and he has since clocked up six wins around the 8.9 mile course – including a Superbike victory with the TT Legends in 2012. New signing Rutter first competed in the event in 1992 and has achieved nine of his 13 NW200 wins in the Superbike class. Both will be looking to increase their tally at the 2013 event.

The veterans will be joined in their quest for victory by Honda TT Legends’ other new recruit Michael Dunlop. The one-time North West winner got off to a great start on his road racing debut for the team by topping the timesheet in today’s first Superbike practice session. Rutter placed seventh while McGuinness was ninth fastest.

To watch a preview interview with John McGuinness click here or on the image to the right.

Neil Tuxworth – team manager
We’re very happy to be at the North West 200 with one of our strongest ever line-ups. Not only are we running three riders in the Superbike class, but they are three of the very top riders in road racing. McGuinness and Rutter have multiple NW200 wins between them and they know this race very well, while Dunlop is without a doubt the rising star with a great future ahead of him. All three are capable of getting on the podium and winning races, so we’re looking forward to seeing what the event holds.

John McGuinness, Honda TT Legends

John McGuinness, Honda TT Legends

John McGuinness
This is my 20th year at the North West 200 and I’m feeling really positive. I know the drill, I know the bike, I’ve got all my usual crew around me and I’m looking forward to it. We tested at Castle Combe a couple of weeks ago and managed to fit in plenty of laps and get a good set up on the bike so we’re ready to go. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for decent weather on race day but everything is in place for a good result. It should be a interesting battle with me and the two Michael’s all on the same team. A 1-2-3 TT Legends podium is not impossible and as long as I’m on the middle step I’ll be happy with that!

Michael Rutter, Honda TT Legends

Michael Rutter, Honda TT Legends

Michael Rutter
It’s good to be back at the North West and of course it would be nice to get another win, but it’s one of those places that you just never know what is going to happen until race day. We’re pretty well prepared after the test at Castle Combe and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got a strong line-up and we’re aiming for the podium. Obviously John did a great job here last year and Michael Dunlop is definitely going to be one to watch out for too – he’s flying. Let’s see what happens when we all get on the bike.

Michael Dunlop, Honda TT Legends

Michael Dunlop, Honda TT Legends

Michael Dunlop
I’m looking forward to the first road racing event with the TT Legends. The two-day test we did at Castle Combe ended well. I got a lot of miles in and did some good work with my mechanics to get the bike ready for the North West. I’m not really feeling any extra pressure other than that I put on myself. I’ve just got to do what I do and ride as hard as I can and hopefully we’ll get the results.

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North West 200 – 2012 schedule 

Thursday 16 May Practice:

Roads close 9.30am to 2.30pm

Thursday 17 May Racing:

Roads close 5.15pm to 9.00pm
Supersport race
Supertwin race
Superstock race

Saturday 19 May Racing:

Roads close 10.00am to 6.30pm
Supersport race
Superbike race
Supertwin race
NW200 Superbike race

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