Two of the most iconic race teams- and colour schemes- in British bike racing have merged at this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200. HM Plant Honda has joined forces with Clive Padgett’s mega successful race team for both the North West and the TT.
Bruce Anstey and 19 times TT winner John McGuinness will race the black and orange Hondas, complete with the famous Padgett’s rainbow stripes, for the first time at Portrush this week.
Under the official title of HM Plant Honda by Padgett's Motorcycles, Flying Kiwi Anstey will ride in all classes, including the Superbike division, with McGuinness competing in the Superstock and Supersport classes alongside his Honda TT Legends’ Superbike duties.
HM Plant Chairman John Jones said: "We're delighted to be back in the paddock, this time with the supremely successful Padgett's team and it's going to be incredibly exciting to support them as they attempt to do the impossible and repeat their phenomenal clean sweep of the TT in 2010."
Padgett's Motorcycles team manager Clive Padgett was even more positive than usual about the team's chances as a result of the new partnership: " We are, and always will be, a family operation, but carrying such a great name on the fairings will be a massive boost to the team and we can't wait to go out there and repay John's faith in us by achieving further sporting success for his company."
“My Dad’s bikes raced at the North West in the Sixties and Padgett’s have we have won here in every decade since- and we hope to continue doing that this year.’
"It’s great to be back in black!” Anstey joked today. “I think it suits me and it’s a good New Zealand colour with the All Blacks and all that. I have nine wins at the North West so it would be nice to make it a good even number this year and I definitely want a podium to keep my record going.”
The 43 year old enjoys an incredible North West record having been on the podium at the event every year since his debut in 2002. In addition he is the holder of 23 TT podiums and the only man to achieve at least one top-three finish at every TT, NW200 and Ulster GP held in the last ten years.
The only man who has achieved more in road racing during that decade, "Morecombe Missile" John McGuinness, echoed Anstey’s excitement about the merger. "HM Plant and Padgett's are a dream team and I'm really looking forward to riding a black and orange bike again at the North West and the TT.”