It’s a teaming up of TT titans like no other. For this year’s Monster Energy Supersport races, Michael Dunlop and John McGuinness will be joining forces to race in the production bike-based class on Monday 4th and Wednesday 6th June.
McGuinness, who is set to make his return to the legendary Isle of Man races this year, after a horror crash ruled him unable to race at TT 2017, will now ride a MD Racing prepared Honda CBR 600RR identical in specification to Dunlop.
Dunlop and McGuinness both have an excellent track record in the class. The Northern Irishman won last year’s four-lap race riding a Yamaha; as well as still holds the outright lap record for the Supersport class having lapped at 128.667mph on his way to a double victory in 2013.
While 23-time TT winner McGuinness was victorious in both 2005 and 2006 for Yamaha and Honda respectively. Riding for the latter exclusively since 2006, the Morecambe Missile added further Supersport podiums to his haul in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013.
Talking about the team-up Dunlop said: “I hadn’t ever really planned on building another bike, but when John started talking to me about it, I thought it was a great idea and I couldn’t really say no. It’s good for me, it’s good for my team and no matter who you are, the man has won 23 TT races so there is always going to be something that can be learnt by having him in working alongside you. People don’t see him as a 600cc rider, but he’s won races and had lots of podium finishes on a 600cc bike and I will give him a bike capable of winning on.”
McGuinness, who has finished in the top five in the last seven outings in the Supersport class added: “I’m excited to be riding Michael’s bike at this year’s TT. It’s started off as a bit of a joke conversation between us both and has developed into him going off and building me a bike. I’m a big fan of Michael’s both as a rider but also for what he has done in terms of running his own teams and winning races out the back of his van against the factory teams over the years. The Dunlop name means so much to TT fans and as a fan myself, I can’t wait to represent that name at this year’s event. We’ve won 38 TT’s between us so together we know what needs to be done and I am sure we will be right at the sharp end.”