Honda Racing's Guy Martin and John McGuinness have tested their new Superbike-spec CBR1000RR Fireblade machines for the first time as they prepare for the first major international road race of the season at the North West 200 in May.

The duo gained their first laps on the SP2 at Castle Combe in Wiltshire, where McGuinness suffered a scare when he dislocated his thumb in a spill on the second day of the test. However, the 44-year-old expects to be fully fit for the North West.

"It seems easier to match the times that we have done here before with this bike," McGuinness said.

"It is a new chapter with a new bike and you can't just rock up and be on it from the word go. I really like the new engine braking system and this bike doesn't back in to corners the way the old bike did on the brakes so it isn't as physically demanding to ride."

McGuinness, who has won 23 times at the Isle of Man TT, is adjusting to the Ohlins suspension he will run in 2017 after years of using K-Tech and Showa components.

"Sometimes it is better as a rider not to have options because you can choose the one you know, the safe one," McGuinness said.

"We have to go faster so we have to change and if we can find a little bit more power, which we think we can, then I will be happy."

Honda race boss Neil Tuxworth admitted the new Honda machines had arrived later than had been expected, but said good progress had been made at Castle Combe.

"Considering the mechanics were still working on them the night before the test we are very happy with the progress we have made over the two days," said Tuxworth.

"With the road bikes running kit ignition, they are easier to set up than the BSB Superbikes that run the Motec system. We will come back to Castle Combe in a few weeks' time and that will be the important test because we will have the full spec operating on both Superbikes."

McGuinness and Martin flew to Japan after the test, where they rode the new Mugen Shinden at Motegi - the bike they will race at the TT in the Zero race in June.