John McGuinness has said he expects Honda’s new CBR1000RR Fireblade will turn into a strong Isle of Man TT contender given how it is less physical to ride than the outgoing model.
McGuinness spent two days testing the road going Fireblade CBR1000RR and SP models at Portimao alongside journalists at the weekend, and is confident the changes made to Honda’s flagship sports bike will give him the tools he needs to challenge Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson on the iconic mountain course.
“I’m really excited about the new bike,” he told MCN at the circuit. “I’ve needed that injection of enthusiasm to get back to the sharp end, not that I was away from it but I need to close the gap to those two chaps at the front and I think this new bike might just be the tool for the job. It’s lovely to ride, it’s sweet, refined and worth the wait. The build quality is fantastic, the dashboard, the electronics and how they react. I’ve never used a blipper before, I’ve never used fly by wire either. I’m a bit of a creature of habit so I was quite sceptical of that but I took to it naturally. I was shocked at how different it is to the old model.
“I think as a TT bike it’ll be easier to ride than the old bike, a bit less physical and with a TT race over an hour long it’s difficult and tiring. If this can make the job a little bit easier if I need to have a dog fight towards the end I’ll have the energy left to do it.
“We’ve been screaming for more power for a while and now we’ve got it. It might not make the exact same figures as some of the other stuff on the market but you can work with it. It’s not aggressive either and that’s really good for a road race bike. I’ve never ridden the latest bikes from other manufacturers but I’ve heard some are scary fast and sometimes that’s not what you want, you want a balance of reliability, stability and power."
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