3 Dec 2012

Honda TT Legends - 5 man superteam for 2013

The 2013 Isle of Man TT race is already set to be a classic with the news that Honda TT Legends have retained John McGuinness and signed Michael Dunlop and Michael Rutter.

Motorcycle racing is a thrilling and dangerous sport, loved by millions of bikers around the world, and the Isle of Man TT race is the pinnacle of motorcycling danger and thrills.  So dangerous is the race that MotoGP dropped it as an event in 1977 and most top level bikers, and even F1 drivers, admire the race and the riders as spectators.

Lap records around the 39.4 mile course are measured as average speed.  The current record holder is John McGuinness and his average time around the course is 131.578mph.  The course itself isn't a race track as such.  It consists of town and village streets and country lanes.  It isn't lined with armco and gravel traps but with lampposts, stone walls, trees and ravines.

Since 1977 the event, held annually on the Isle of Man, has held it's own as a standalone race.  The centenary race was held in 2007 and visitor numbers for the event have been growing year on year.  The racers in the TT are a particular breed of insanely talented and just insane motorcyclists, most of whom race on a tiny budget.  However, some fully funded, professional race teams do exist and the top one at the moment is Honda TT Legends.

The TT has produced some outright stars over the past few years.  John McGuinness is one such name.  John has won 19 TTs and is the most successful TT racer alive.  Since 2011 he has raced for the Honda TT Legends team and has signed to race for them in 2013.

The late Joey Dunlop, who won 26 TTs, is a legendary name in motorcycle circles and his nephew Michael Dunlop has already won 3 TTs as an independent.  In the 2011 TT races Michael crashed his bike in practice and had to beg other teams for spare parts to fix it.  Michael is a racer of extraordinary talent who many see as the successor to his uncle Joey.  Michael's reputation as a racer was sealed in 2008 when his father, Robert, died during a practice session for the NW200 race.  Michael didn't withdraw from the event and the next day won the 250cc race.  Michael Dunlop will race for Honda TT Legends in 2012 - his first time as part of a professional race team.

Michael Rutter is an English bike racer who has a long and varied racing CV.  Michael has won the NW200 road race 12 times, the TT once, the Macau GP 10 times and has competed in BSB and MotoGP.

With McGuinness, Rutter and Dunlop already in the bag for the TT, Honda TT Legends also compete in the Endurance World Championship - a series of 3 8 hour races at Bol D'Or in France, Suzuka in Japan and Oscherleben in Germany with a 24 hour finale held at Le Mans, France.

The riders racing for Honda TT Legends in the EWC are Cameron Donald (who has 2 TT wins under his belt) and Simon Andrews (who has been competing in BSB since 2009).

With Rutter and Dunlop alongside McGuinness in the same team the 2013 Isle of Man TT looks set to be an extraordinary race.  We're looking forward to it already.
Michael Dunlop with the 2013 Honda Fireblade

Michael Dunlop, Simon Andrews, Michael Rutter and John McGuinness