John McGuinness feels a switch to Norton Racing for the 2018 Isle of Man TT will give him a fresh lease of life as he continues his comeback from his nasty leg injury.

The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner has left the Honda fold after over a decade of partnership with the Japanese manufacturer to take on the new challenge with Norton Racing. McGuinness, who joins Josh Brookes at the squad for 2018, is relishing his comeback from injury after a long off-season out.

McGuinness says the external fixator on his right leg will be off by the end of February as he targets a return to testing in the spring. McGuinness last competed on non-Honda big bike machinery at the Isle of Man TT back in 2005 with Yamaha and believes the change has given him added motivation on his injury comeback.

“I’m definitely ready for a change of manufacturer,” McGuinness said. “I needed an injection of enthusiasm and I’ve found it with Norton. From the first time I met with Stuart [Garner, Norton CEO] the vibe was there and the passion. I watched Steve Hislop win the TT on the Norton in 1992 and it was massive. Everyone remembers that.

“We can’t get carried away, it’s going to be a big job but I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos of the bike in action, I watched the bike out on track last year and it’s clearly a very fast and capable bike and I can tell you there are worse handling bikes out there too, so there’s no reason we can’t do the business if the stars line up right.”

McGuiness will take on the Senior TT and Superbike race with Norton at the 2018 Isle of Man TT and was the previous lap record holder around the Mountain Course with a 132.701mph lap set on his way to victory in the 2015 Senior TT.