Manxman Conor Cummins was officially unveiled as team mate to John McGuinness in the Honda Motor Europe road-racing squad today at Motorcycle Live.
Following on from the shock news two weeks ago that Michael Dunlop will not ride for the team, Honda have wasted no time in signing established TT rider Cummins.
Despite not winning a TT, Cummins is no stranger to the mountain course and has already secured four podiums, is the third fastest rider in the history of the event and holds the record for the fastest lap from a standing start – an incredible 131.5mph.
Speaking to MCN, Cummins said: “I honestly can’t be live this has happened. I was in my van when I got the call and it was totally out of the blue, I had nothing sorted for 2014. Honda called and it took me about 0.3 seconds to say yes. This is a massive move for me and although I have four podiums I haven’t yet got a win, this could be the final piece of the jigsaw. It’s awesome, I’m fit and healthy and looking forward to hopefully giving McGuinness a run for his money.”
Alongside John McGuinness, Cummins will ride the Fireblade at the North West 200 and the TT in the Superbike and Senior races. In addition, he will be the only official Honda Motor Europe rider in the Superstock race.
“Conor is one of the fastest men in history around the TT circuit and has also done an amazing job to get himself back to fitness after his accident, we felt he was ready to join the team. Conor is a young guy and we are very pleased to have him onboard, he is still the fastest rider from a standing start and has a lot of potential for the future,” said team manager Neil Tuxworth.
“It’s great news that Conor will be joining the team. I have a lot of respect for him – he’s young, he’s hungry for it and he has so much passion for racing. It will be a pleasure to be his team-mate. This year proved that there’s life in the old dog yet, so I can’t wait to get back on the Fireblade and see what we can do,” said McGuinness, who with 20 TT wins already under his belt is aiming to take a step closer to Joey Dunlop’s record of 26 wins at the 2014 event.