Honda has unveiled a five-strong squad for their TT Legends team, to coordinate a two pronged attack on the Isle of Man TT and the Endurance World Championship.
Retaining nineteen-times TT winner John McGuinness to lead the push on roads and circuits, he'll be joined by Michael Dunlop, bringing a Dunlop back to a factory Honda ride for the first time since his uncle Joey also rode with McGuinness in 2000.
Rounding out the team for the North West 200 and TT, as well as joining for the Endurance rounds will be perennial BSB racer Michael Rutter.
Simon Andrews will be kept on for Endurance, with him expected to take up a satellite Honda ride for the roads. Aussie Cameron Donald will also be retained as the team's reserve Endurance rider.
As well as building on the team's massive total of TT wins (as well as McGuinness' 19, Dunlop and Rutter also have three each), the team have firmly set their sights on taking the Endurance World Championship, following a strong fourth this year in only their second year of competition.
McGuinness said "I’m really pleased to be involved with the team again. For EWC, I know the tracks, I know the bike and we’re ready to start upping our game even more. We’ve done well during the development stage over the last couple of years but this is the year for us to fight for the podium and challenge for the championship.
As for the roads, it’s second nature for me now. I love working with the same crew that I’ve been with for so many years. The whole package just works and I don’t want to change that. I’m ready to get stuck in and hopefully get some more wins."
Michael Rutter said "I’m really excited to be riding with the Honda TT Legends next year. Endurance is not something I have done before so that’s going to be a great experience and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do there.
I’ve obviously got a history with the Louth-based team as I did BSB and the roads with them for a couple of years in 2004/2005, so I’m familiar with the Fireblade and I know the crew well."
Dunlop said "this is a big opportunity for me with both Honda and Dunlop and it’s an honour to be riding for them so I’m looking forward to getting started. People are asking me how it will be for me having John as a team-mate but when we get on the bike it will be the same. I get on well with John but I don’t worry about anybody else when I’m on track."