Represented once again by the world renowned HM Plant Honda team, the dynamic and incredibly strong pairing of John McGuinness and Steve Plater forms the team’s rider line-up for the second consecutive year at both road race events.
2009 marked Honda’s 50th anniversary of world championship racing, at the TT and in Grand Prix racing overall. This year, the HM Plant Honda team is looking forward to adding to Honda’s impressive tally of TT and wider two-wheel racing accolades, furthering the HM Plant Honda team’s road racing successes and supporting John McGuinness and Steve Plater in their quest to set further historic records at both events.
With 15 TT wins, 29 TT podiums in total, the coveted lap record now at 131.578mph and the second most successful TT rider claim to his name since his debut on the Island in 1996, John McGuinness is the man to set your sights on around the Isle of Man. He’s also a force to be reckoned with at the North West 200 as well with numerous pole positions, 4 wins and a raft of further podium finishes since his debut on the Triangle Circuit in 1994.
John said, “I’m still as hungry as ever for success at both the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races. I never take anything for granted as the competition gets tougher every year, not just from other teams, but from my own team-mate! Thankfully we benefit from being part of one of the best teams out there and with the best bike in the Fireblade, so we’re well placed to succeed.”
Steve Plater has vast experience at a number of road-races, such as the North West 200 and Macau GP events, but is a relative newcomer to the Isle of Man. Despite only making his debut in 2007, he created history by becoming the fastest ever newcomer and then in 2008, Steve’s impressive racing style carried him to his maiden win in the Supersport class. He backed this up in 2009 with a win in the Senior TT race and a second placed finish behind team-mate McGuinness in the Superbike TT race. Steve further set an incredible new race record in the Senior TT and the fastest lap in the Supersport class in 2009, all contributing to him being awarded the title for best overall performance of the 2009 TT event. Steve’s first outing at the North West 200 dates back to 1995 and this year marks his eleventh time of competing on the nine-mile Triangle Circuit. With eight NW200 victories to his name (5 in Superbike and 3 in Supersport), the lap record in both classes, a number of further podiums and a string of front row starts, Steve is considered one of the North West 200’s hottest challengers.
Steve said, “Both the North West 200 and the TT are special events for me. To win the Senior TT race was mega last year and to take the overall award for best performance was the icing on the cake. It never gets easier though and I know it’s going to be hard work to replicate those results this year – but I’m going to give it my best and I’m confident given the great team and machines we have.”
John and Steve will both contest all three classes – Superbike, Superstock and Supersport – at the NW200 and Isle of Man TT this year. Steve will run in HM Plant Honda livery in the Superbike and Superstock classes with John also sporting the distinctive HM Plant orange livery in the Superbike class. John will then contest Superstock under the Padgett’s Honda banner, with both Steve and John also running under Padgett’s Honda, whom Honda (UK) Racing has enjoyed a successful association with over many years, in the Supersport races.
Honda (UK) Racing’s Neil Tuxworth commented, “The HM Plant Honda team is delighted to be representing Honda again for its 2010 road racing campaign. 2009 with John and Steve proved to be a formidable partnership, which was even more rewarding given Honda’s 50th anniversary of world championship racing celebrations that year. We’re very happy to have the same strong rider line-up for 2010 and this, coupled with the best machines with the CBR1000RR Fireblade and CBR600RR, should certainly make the HM Plant Honda team a leading challenger. Our aim, as always, is to try and win in every class and we’ll be putting all our efforts behind our riders to ensure we are as competitive as possible and to try and add to Honda’s enviable road racing victories. Both the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT are incredible events, not just for the competitors but also the fans, and we’re looking forward to putting on a good show for our loyal fans as well.”
Both races are the sternest test of man and machine. The International North West 200, now in its 81st year, is Ireland’s largest outdoor sporting event attracting crowds in excess of 150,000. The circuit runs between the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine in Northern Ireland, leading to the track being christened ‘The Triangle Circuit.’ It is nine miles long and is one of the fastest in the world, with speeds regularly hitting 200mph or more. This year, the ‘Race Week Festival’ begins on Monday 10 May, with the races themselves on Saturday 15 May.
The legendary Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race has been held annually since 1907. The 37.73-mile-long TT mountain circuit is one of the greatest challenges any racing motorcyclist can take on and each year more than 500 riders arrive on the Island to take on the incredible mountain circuit in either the TT races in June, or the Manx Grand Prix races in September. This year, practice and qualifying runs from Saturday 29 May to Friday 4 June, with racing taking place on Saturday 5, Monday 7, Wednesday 9 and the ‘big’ race – the Senior – taking place on Friday 11 June.