Norton boss Stuart Garner struggled to hide his excitement after putting pen to paper with 23-time TT winner last week as the Castle Donington factory looks to scale new heights in 2018.
After their most successful TT to date last year, which saw Aussies Josh Brookes and Dave Johnson finish both the Superbike and Senior races inside the top eight with Brookes clocking Norton’s fastest ever TT lap, there’s no rest for the iconic British marque as they look to further up their game.
Having confirmed Brookes’ return to the team earlier this week, Norton has now announced 23-time TT winner McGuinness will join the effort as they continue their quest to take Norton to the top step of the TT podium for the first time since 1992.
“It’s nice that the planets have come together and we can put the two names of McGuinness and Norton together,” Garner told MCN.
“Each of those names on their own is pretty special, so to put the two together in a team is a massive deal for me as it’s not often things like that come together.
“For me this is a Rossi-Yamaha, Schumacher-Ferrari type relationship – two massive names in one team.
“When we came to the TT, we came to win. We wanted to learn from the fast lads, of course, but that’s hard when you’re at the back of the grid! We were as green as anything when we started, but we knew we had to be doing what the quick lads were doing, so of course I always wanted to sign the fastest lad as it’s the cheapest speed you’ll ever get on your motorbike!
“John has all the speed and experience you can get around the TT, so the key thing for me will be to get him sorted, super-fast and happy. I think having John in the team will be good for Josh too as he can learn from him, maybe we’ll see if we can get John to set off from number one and then send Josh a few bikes behind and tell him to catch up! It’ll be super interesting if Brookesy starts nibbling his ankles as I’m going to sit back and rub my hands together, it’s exactly what we want!
“We’ve got a good combination in these lads. They are good to work with, have got great common sense, integrity and there is no bullshit. We want to win, but we want to win our way and if that takes a little bit more doing because you need the right people so be it.”
For the full, exclusive story on McGuinness' Norton switch, pick up today's MCN.