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NW200: McGuinness takes 'massive step' forward

John McGuinness completes a successful test at Castle Combe as Isle of Man TT star returns to action for first time in six weeks after injury
Honda Racing's John McGuinness has taken a 'massive step' forward following a two-day test at Castle Combe in preparation for next week's North West 200 in Northern Ireland.

It was Isle of Man TT great McGuinness's first time on track since he suffered a wrist injury following an accident on his enduro bike six weeks ago.

McGuinness has been undergoing intensive physiotherapy and was able to quickly regain his confidence aboard the Fireblade SP.

“It's great to get together with my road racing team, who are like family to me. It was looking like we weren't going to get much done on Wednesday but all of a sudden the sun came out and we got a day's work done in the afternoon,” McGuinness said.

“I made a massive step forward with regards to getting on the bike after my injury. After my enduro crash I thought my season was over so I'm made up with how good I felt on the bike.

“I'm going home feeling much more confident about the North West and the TT and I can't wait to ride my Fireblade in anger again.”

McGuinness was joined by team-mate Conor Cummins as the pair experimented with various set-ups on their Honda CBR1000RR SP machines and tested a variety of Dunlop tyres.

Manxman Cummins was also having his first ride on the Honda and chalked up more than 80 laps at the Wiltshire track.

“I'm really happy, it's all gone well, even with the bad weather. We got a full afternoon on track on Wednesday, it was action-packed and we finished on a high,” said Cummins.

“We've got a good setting for the NW200 and I'm really looking forward to getting there now. I just want to ride my bike.

“It was the first time I'd ridden it yesterday and it was just mega. It felt right straight away. I'm not going to be over-confident, I have a job to do and my only interest is in doing the best I can, but I'm really enjoying riding the bike and I can't wait to race.”

Practice for the North West 200 gets under way on Tuesday, May 13 and continues with final qualifying on Thursday, May 15.

The first three races for Supersport, Supertwin and Superstock machines will take place after final qualifying on Thursday, with the final five races being held on Saturday, May 17, including both feature Superbike races.

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John McGuinness
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