Roads: McGuinness: 'New blade will help close gap to Dunlop & Hutchy'

Published: 18 January 2017

TT legend John McGuinness has said he believes Honda’s all-new Fireblade SP2 could be the magic ingredient he needs to edge closer to Joey Dunlop’s record of 26 TT wins. 

After a somewhat disappointing 2016, which saw the Morecambe Missile fail to add to his impressive win tally, McGuinness is hoping the new bike will be the rejuvenation he needs to fight with Ian Hutchinson, Michael Dunlop and new team-mate, Guy Martin.

“I’ve been waiting for a new ‘Blade for years,” McGuinness told MCN. “We had fantastic success on the old one, but this new bike is looking good. It’s got a bit more power, a few tweaks here and there, is lighter and has more electronics. I’m really looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get my teeth into it now.

READ MORE ON GUY’S SHOCK TT RETURN

Having finished a clear third to Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson in the 2016 Senior TT, McGuinness knows there’s work to be done if they are to close the gap, but he’s confident the power boost from the all-new CBR1000RR engine should be enough make the difference.

“I’ve got to believe in myself as a rider and I do believe with the extra power of the new bike we can run with Hutchy and Michael. I have to believe I can still match them, the only advantage they had over me last year was straight line speed. 

“I don’t think they went around the corners any faster or braked any harder than me, maybe I was a bit lazy at the start when they were really strong. I was the first man to shake their hands, 133.9mph is unbelievable, it took a massive chunk out of my lap record.” 

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