Roads: McGuinness to ride Farquhar supertwin in Lightweight TT

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John McGuinness will ride for Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki team in this year’s lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT.

The 23-time TT winner, who won the Lightweight 250cc race with lap and race records in 1999, will be making his debut in the 650cc lightweight supertwin class after previous contract obligations prevented him from doing so.

Riding for Norton Motorcycles in the Superbike and Senior races this year, the iconic British marque has given him clearance to ride the Kawasaki 650 for his former rival.

He’ll be joined in the squad by Peter Hickman, who finished third for KMR in the 2017 Lightweight TT behind Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp.

Derek McGee and Danny Webb will also race for the squad.

“I’ve never had the chance to ride the Lightweight class on a Supertwin bike before, but when the opportunity came around I knew that my first choice would be to ride one of Ryan Farquhar’s bikes,” said McGuinness, who had the cage removed from his broken leg two weeks ago and is currently working to be fit for the TT.

“I raced against Ryan for many years and I know how driven he is to win and his machine preparation is second to none, so when he gave me the chance to join his team for the TT I didn’t need to think twice before saying yes and I am really looking forward to making my debut.” 

Farquhar added: “Over the years I’ve joked with John many times about riding one of my bikes but with his Honda contract it was never going to materialise. He has moved on from Honda and he sees the twin as giving him a realistic chance of getting back on the top step of the podium. For me, as a privateer running a small team, I am over the moon to have him and Peter Hickman on KMR/IEG Kawasakis.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing