Crash.Net RR News
McGuinness, Andrews pair for Isle of Man TT
3 February 2012
Simon Andrews and Gary Johnson will join John McGuinness and Cameron Donald in the Honda TT Legends team for 2012, the quartet competing in the major road races and the Endurance World Championship this season.
Following the team's formation at the start of 2011 with a coveted line-up of John McGuinness, Keith Amor and Steve Plater, the Honda TT Legends enjoyed notable success last season, with McGuinness taking the Isle of Man TT Senior title and seventh in the EWC standings.
However, with Amor having announced his retirement in recent days and Plater working on a competitive return to racing following a season-ending injury last year, Honda TT Legends has announced a revised line-up for 2012, with McGuinness remaining and Donald - the team's 2011 reserve - being promoted to a regular rider.
The pair will be joined by top British Superbike standout Andrews, who made his TT debut in 2011, and road racing star Johnson for this season.
All four will compete in the Endurance World Championship, which starts on April 14th with the Bol D'or 24 hours at Magny-Cours, while McGuinness and Andrews will ride in Honda TT Legends colours at the Isle of Man TT and North West 200. Donald and Johnson will participate in the road events with Wilson Craig Honda and Padgetts Honda respectively.
“We went into the 2011 EWC as a novice team and it was very much a development year – not just for the riders but for the whole crew,” said team manager Neil Tuxworth. “Honda was keen to showcase the Fireblade in a different environment to that of short circuit racing – the festival-type atmosphere enjoyed by thousands of fans at the Isle of Man TT and the 24hr endurance races has to be experienced to be believed!
“We had a good first year, but now the focus is on improvement with the ultimate goal being the podium. We have the 2012 Combined ABS-equipped Fireblade, two riders with a year of EWC under their belts and two new and enthusiastic riders who can't wait to get stuck in so we're very positive about the season ahead.
“When it to comes to the TT, what better line-up than the fastest man around the course and the 2011 fastest newcomer? It's going to be an exciting year.
Seventeen-time Isle of Man TT race winner McGuinness was delighted to be racing with Honda again in 2012 as he strives to complement his road racing successes with strong results on the track too.
“Last year was definitely a learning year for the team and now it's time to up our game in EWC. We did a lot of development on the bike last season, particularly at the last couple of rounds with the introduction of Combined ABS. We were knocking on the door of the podium and this year we'll hopefully go one step further and get up there.
“We've got a great crew and after year one we all know what we're doing and what the aims are for 2012 so things are looking good. The fact that's it's the 20th anniversary of the Fireblade makes it all the more exciting. Each time Honda brings out an updated model it's a big step forward so I'm looking forward to racing it.
“I've had some of the most memorable career moments on the Fireblade and with any luck we'll be adding to the list this year.”