Honda retains John McGuinness and Conor Cummins for roads

John McGuinness has been confirmed with Honda Racing in 2015 for the international road races
John McGuinness has been confirmed with Honda Racing in 2015 for the international road races

Honda Motor Europe has confirmed that John McGuinness and Conor Cummins will front its international roads campaign for a second successive season in 2015.

The pair will compete at the Vauxhall International North West 200 and Monster Energy Isle of Man TT on the official Honda-entered CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and will also line up in the Supersport class on Honda machinery for Jackson Racing.

McGuinness, whose 2014 challenge was thwarted by a wrist injury sustained during pre-season, and Manx star Cummins have also signed up to contest the Endurance World Championship Superstock series for the privately owned Jackson Racing squad, with Cummins also riding in the production-based class for the team on the roads.

Morecambe rider McGuinness, who still managed to increase his haul of TT wins to 21 last June with his maiden triumph in the Zero race on the Mugen machine, has warned he is out to prove there is still ‘plenty of life in the old dog yet’.

“There’s no denying that 2014 was a tough year for me. It shook my confidence and held me back but I’m ready to put it all behind me and get back to the business of winning races.

“I’ve said it before but the Honda team is like family to me and that support means everything,” added the 42-year-old, whose long association with the Padgetts Racing team ended amicably at the end of 2014.

“I can’t wait to get back on the bike and prove that there’s life in the old dog yet.”

McGuinness chalked up two top-ten finishes at the TT in the Superbike and Senior races last year despite nursing a broken scaphoid and remains the last rider to beat Michael Dunlop in the blue riband class on the Mountain Course, edging out his then Honda team-mate to take the spoils in the Senior race in 2013.

He also remains the fastest rider ever over six laps of the legendary 37.73-mile circuit, averaging 128.943mph on his way victory over Dunlop in their thrilling Senior duel.

Cummins, meanwhile, excelled for Honda last year as the Ramsey rider returned to the rostrum in the premier class for the first time since his horrific crash in 2010.

The 28-year-old took third in the Superbike race before ending race week with an emotional runner-up result in the prestigious Senior showpiece to rekindle the promise he displayed prior to his big TT crash over four years ago.

“Last year was a great year for me,” Cummins said. “I achieved a career-long dream in riding for the official Honda team and I just wanted to make the very most of the opportunity I’d been given.

“I’m thrilled to be staying with the team for 2015 and now that I have a season of experience on the Fireblade SP under my belt, I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.”

Honda boss Neil Tuxworth added: “We’re very happy to retain both John McGuinness and Conor Cummins for our 2015 road racing campaign. It goes without saying that our well-established relationship with John is proven to reap results.

“Last year was tough for him with his injury but he still got some good results. He’s very determined and we have every confidence that he’ll come back fighting. He is still very capable of winning races.

“Conor really impressed us in 2014, not just with the results, but also with his work ethic and attitude,” Tuxworth added.

“We’re delighted to have him on board for a second season. I believe we are in a very strong position for the 2015 road racing events.”