Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop hopes to test his new Honda TT Legends Fireblade for the first time in March.
The three-times TT winner was signed alongside John McGuinness and Michael Rutter by Neil Tuxworth to spearhead Honda’s official roads effort this year at the North West 200 and Isle of Man.
And the challenger to McGuinness’s Mountain throne expects to get to grips with the CBR1000RR Fireblade in a little mover two months’ time as he begins his preparations for the biggest season in his career to date.
“I’m really looking forward to this year and I’ve been working on my own Superbike, ‘600’ and ’stocker all over Christmas to get them ready,” he said.
“It’s looking that I could get testing my TT Superbike in March with the Honda TT Legends World Endurance team, but that could change yet.
“I know I’ll be getting plenty of time on the big girl in pre-season whatever happens and we’re going to hit the ground running next year for a change, which will make a big difference to me.
“It’s going to be an interesting year because obviously Yamaha are back in a big way with William and Conor [Cummins], plus everyone wants to see me and John going at it.
“John has said himself that he has everyone’s number at the TT but he doesn’t know yet what I can do on a Superbike,” added Dunlop.
“I’m excited myself to see what I can do this year too on the big bike at the TT.
“John is the main man and his record shows that, but I’m not going to the TT to finish second on the Superbike and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t bring that trophy home.
“I’m focused, I’m in the same team as John and I’ve got a Honda Superbike that will be that bit better than what I had before.”