The 31-year-old Lancastrian will campaign a CBR1000RR Fireblade in the National Superstock Championship – one of the support races for the world’s leading domestic Superbike series. In addition, McGuinness will be riding HM Plant Hondas in the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock classes at the three leading public road racing events: the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.
HM Plant Honda Racing has competed successfully in the British Superbike Championship over the past two seasons. After winning the British Supersport Championship in 2004 with Karl Harris, the distinctive black and orange colour scheme will be seen for the first time in the increasingly important Superstock series.
Honda Racing’s potential in the production-based Superstock class is unquestionable due to the continuous pursuit of quality and design inherent within the development of the CBR1000RR Fireblade. Team DMRR Honda Racing’s Ian Lougher has already enjoyed considerable success in 2005 after winning the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix on the Superstock-spec CBR1000RR Fireblade.
HM Plant Honda Racing’s new signing hopes to carry this success forward into the highly competitive national championship. The experienced Morecambe rider certainly has the pedigree to succeed in his quest to establish the HM Plant Honda Racing Superstock CBR1000RR Fireblade as a force to be reckoned with. The eight times Isle of Man TT winner started his successful road racing career in 1991 and has been one of the UK’s leading riders for more than a decade.
After winning the British 250cc championship in 1999, McGuinness moved into the four-stroke classes where he enjoyed two years with Castrol Honda. After finishing third in the British Supersport Championship for the Louth-based team in 2001, he was rewarded with a full season in the World Supersport Championship the following year.
McGuinness has since become known for his winning exploits at the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix. Five victories in 2004 and 2005 – including the outright lap record of 127.68mph – have firmly established him as the leading rider on the infamous TT mountain circuit.
John McGuinness: “This is a dream come true. I’m delighted to be renewing my partnership with Honda. My two objectives will be to win the National Superstock Championship and continue my winning form at the TT and other major road races for HM Plant Honda Racing.
“This announcement has been in the pipeline for some time, and now that it has been confirmed, I can start making preparations for next season. The successful results of the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR at national and international level show that I have made the right move at this stage of my career – the rest will be up to me.”
Neil Tuxworth, Honda Racing Race Team Manager: “There has been a strong field of Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and CBR600RR-mounted riders in this season’s British Superbike and Supersport championships respectively. However, there has only been one regular Fireblade entry in the National Superstock Championship.
“As the flagship of Honda’s sports bike range, it is important that Honda increases its presence in and support of the Superstock class. Furthermore, John will be leading HM Plant Honda Racing’s challenge in all three four-stroke classes at the three main road racing events – emphasising the team’s renewed focus at this level.”