John McGuinness ‘has good feeling about 2017’

John McGuinness (left) shares a laugh with his new Honda Racing team-mate Guy Martin.
John McGuinness (left) shares a laugh with his new Honda Racing team-mate Guy Martin.

Morecambe Missile John McGuinness has warned he has a ‘good feeling’ about 2017 as he eyes a return to the top of the Superbike summit at the Isle of Man TT on Honda Racing’s much-vaunted Fireblade SP2.

McGuinness has won 23 races around the notorious Mountain Course and is only three wins shy of Ulster legend Joey Dunlop’s all-time record of 26 victories.

The 44-year-old twice finished third in the Superbike and Senior races at the TT in 2015 behind BMW-mounted Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson, but McGuinness is confident the new CBR1000RR will give him the extra edge to push for another prized success in the premier class and the chance to wrestle back the outright lap record, which was raised to 133.962mph by Dunlop last year.

“I’m back with Honda for another year; really I’m part of the family, and I can’t wait to see what the new Fireblade SP2 can do,” he said.

“I know the old model like the back of my hand and have taken a lot of my TT wins with the old girl, so I can’t wait to get out on track and try the new machine out.

“I have a good feeling about this year and think we have a really good package to show that we mean business. Of course I would like another TT win and I would quite like my lap record back.

“I always say when it’s broken that the lads are just borrowing it and I hope this year that this is the case.”

McGuinness has enjoyed many golden moments on the previous Fireblade but he is looking forward to the next chapter in his illustrious career as he welcomes Guy Martin into the team in a powerhouse line-up this season.

“I am sad to say bye to the old Fireblade; I have a lot of history and good memories with that bike, but testing the new model can’t come soon enough and neither can the race season.

“I’m excited to have Guy as my new team-mate; we’ve enjoyed many a racing battle over the years and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can both do.”

McGuinness achieved his last big bike win for Honda at the TT in the four-lap Senior race in 2015.