Conor Cummins will race alongside 20-time TT winner John McGuinness for Honda Motor Europe in 2014, it was announced today.
Making their first appearance together as team-mates on the main stage at Motorcycle Live, Cummins and McGuinness will ride a pair of Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades in the Dainese Superbike and PokerStars Senior Isle of Man TT races, as well as competing in the North West 200. Cummins will also ride for the team in the RL 360 Superstock race at the TT.
The 2013 TT proved that McGuinness is still the man to beat around the mountain course, setting a new outright lap record during the Superbike race, before winning an epic Senior TT to take his victory tally up to 20 and his podium visits on the island up to 41.
“I’m really glad to be staying with the Honda to continue the strong relationship we’ve built up in road racing over the years,” said ‘King of the Mountain’ McGuinness. “The team is like family to me and it’s important that I have support that I know I can rely on 100%. 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.”
Cummins also has TT records of his own, holding the fastest lap from a standing start at 131.511mph and is the third fastest rider in the history of the event. He also won the 2006 newcomers award at both the Isle of Man and the North West 200. The Manxman, who will make his debut for Honda in 2014, fought back from a career-threatening crash in 2010 and will be aiming to take his first TT with Honda.
“I am thrilled to bits to be with Honda in 2014,” said Cummins. “In my eyes this is the absolute pinnacle of road racing. Riding for a team like Honda has been something I’ve been aiming for my whole career so for me this is a huge deal. The team has so much experience and I just want to make the most of the opportunity I’ve been given. I’m really looking forward to racing the new Honda Fireblade and hopefully brining home some good results.”
Honda’s revised commitment to road racing shows a new direction for the brand, having competed in both road racing and the Endurance World Championship under the Honda TT Legends banner. The road racing team will continue to be run from Louth by Team Manager Neil Tuxworth, while an announcement is expected shortly for Honda’s 2014 EWC plans.
“We’re pleased to announce our 2014 line-up for the roads and very happy to welcome Conor Cummins to the team,” enthused Tuxworth. “He’s an Isle of Man lad whose father and uncle have raced on the island so the TT in is in his blood. He has a great work ethic and a determination to succeed and I have a lot of admiration for him. He’s back to full fighting fitness following his 2010 crash and, as one of the fastest men ever around the mountain course, he definitely has the ability to win races.”