Ryan Farquhar has given a cautious welcome to the news that Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness will compete in the Lightweight Supertwin class on the Mountain Course in June.
McGuinness will ride an all-new Honda CBR500R in the race, taking on KMR team owner Farquhar’s all-dominant Kawasaki ER6 machines.
Farquhar won the inaugural Lightweight TT in 2012 and completed an international clean sweep with victories at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.
Following his retirement from road racing, Farquhar has stepped up his role as a team manager, securing lucrative backing from Northern Ireland’s Vauxhall dealers this season.
And the Dungannon man is seeking further international success for his KMR outfit, with Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter in the frame to join his team for the North West 200.
Rutter also rode for Farquhar at the TT, finishing on the rostrum in third place in the Lightweight event.
McGuinness will ride the Honda CBR500R for Phil Morris’s RLR team.
The 40-year-old from Morecambe previously raced for Morris almost a decade ago, taking back-to-back wins in the Lightweight race on a Honda VFR400.
Farquhar told the News Letter: “It’s good for the class that John McGuinness has entered at the TT and it shows how far along we’ve come when riders like that want to ride in the Supertwin race.
“It’s a boost to have another manufacturer in there along with Kawasaki and Suzuki, but I’m not sure how they will get around the regulations because the rules say that when the bike is manufactured it has to be 650cc – it has to be from a homologated bore and stroke.
“So we’ll wait and see how it plays out but yes it’s good that McGuinness has entered because it will help raise the profile of the class.”
There has been no confirmation yet as to whether or not McGuinness will ride the machine at the Vauxhall North West 200 in May.
The 19-times TT winner said: “It was strange sitting on the sidelines last year while the race was on, particularly as the Senior was cancelled as well.
“It’s an interesting class and will present different challenges to the other races but I’m looking forward to having a crack.
“The team undoubtedly has a lot to do in a short space of time to be ready but I’ve got every faith in them.”
The Lightweight TT will take place prior to the feature Senior TT at the conclusion of race week on Friday, June 7.
Kawasaki filled the top eight places in the race last year, with Farquhar winning from James Hillier and Rutter, who set the fastest lap at 115.554mph.