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TT 2013: Joey tribute 'evoked cherished memories'
4 June 2013
Sunday's Superbike TT rekindled some very special memories for John McGuinness as the Morecambe man and Honda paid a poignant tribute to Isle of Man TT legend Joey Dunlop.
McGuinness wore a special set of leathers in the red and black colours of Joey's 2000 Formula One-winning Honda SP1 plus a version of the 26-times TT winner's iconic yellow helmet to mark the 30th anniversary of Dunlop's first TT win for the Japanese factory.
In 2000, McGuinness joined his hero Joey on the rostrum at the TT when the pair were team-mates in the official Honda team and the 19-times Island winner was moved to have the opportunity to honour one of the greatest road racers of all time.
“Joey was and still is the most famous road racer of all time and although it's 30 years since his first Honda win he'll never be forgotten.
“Seeing the tribute design for the first time brought back all the memories of being Joey's team-mate [in 2000], when he wore the red and black livery and I was in pink and purple,” he said.
“It's an iconic design and he just looked so cool so was pretty special getting to wear it in his memory.”
Honda boss Neil Tuxworth said the anniversary was a 'perfect time' to honour Joey.
“There are a few reasons why we decided to celebrate the life and times of Joey Dunlop,” he said.
“First of all he is Honda's longest standing factory rider – he rode for us longer than any other rider in any championship in Honda's history – and on top of that he won five world championships and 26 TT races, 24 of which were on Honda machinery.
“It was in 1983 that Joey secured his first TT win with Honda so 2013 marks the 30th anniversary and it seemed the perfect time to honour him and his career achievements.”
McGuinness finished third in the Superbike race on Sunday, which was won by Joey's nephew Michael Dunlop, who was celebrating his fourth TT victory and his first in the premier class at the TT.
Dunlop has since won the Supersport and Superstock TT races to complete a treble.