HARRISON GETS HONDA CALL UP ALONGSIDE MCGUINNESS
Honda Racing UK has confirmed that 23-time TT winner, John McGuinness MBE will be joined in their team by Manxman, Nathan Harrison, for the 2023 Isle of Man TT Races.
After a momentous 2022 where he celebrated his 50th birthday, his 100th TT start, and the 30th anniversary of the iconic Honda Fireblade, McGuinness will continue his relationship with the brand he has claimed 16 of his TT victories with.
Speaking on the announcement, McGuinness said: “Riding a Fireblade again at the TT last year was something special, so it only felt right to continue for another year. I couldn't feel more at home with the Honda team so I need to say a massive thank you to Havier [Beltran – Team Manager] and Neil [Fletcher – Head of Motorcycles].”
“Celebrating 100 TT starts with the team and riding with that one-off livery and all of the history that we have was really something else. We also managed to crack the top 5 last year on the Superbike, which was great, but I'm hungry for more. I just want to get started now and go racing again!”
For 2023, the experienced McGuinness will be paired with one of the TT’s hottest prospects - Nathan Harrison. The 24-year old fills the seat vacated by Glenn Irwin after it was announced he was leaving Honda and would not be returning to the TT in 2023.
Harrison joins the team after a highly successful apprenticeship at the Manx Grand Prix in 2018 and 2019. The Manxman then made the step up to the TT in 2022, where, riding a privately-run Honda CBR1000RR-R SP, he posted a best lap of 128.087mph and claimed a top-ten finish in his first Senior TT appearance.
For Harrison, it’s a dream opportunity to join the most successful team in the paddock and to compete alongside his childhood hero:
“Watching the TT as a kid with John and Honda dominating, it made me want to be the next ‘John McGuinness’ and that was my full focus. I can’t thank Havier and Honda Racing UK enough for the opportunity.”
“2023 is only my second TT, so to be going into it on a great bike, with the best teammate I could ask for, will be an incredible experience. The long-term plan is to learn from John, learn from the team, and use all that experience to help my own progression. We can make small steps on from last year and, hopefully, this will help me get on that top step in the years to come.”
With full support from the Honda team and the guidance and mentorship of his vastly experienced teammate, Team Manager Havier Beltran is certain 2023 will be an exciting year for the rising star:
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Nathan to the team. He had a remarkable breakthrough year in 2022 and he’s impressed me with the attitude that he has toward his racing. It will be great for him to learn from John and utilise all of his experience and expertise to build step by step.”
“I’m also extremely pleased that we have been able to retain John’s services for another year. Welcoming him back into the fold in 2022 was fantastic and to witness John celebrating 100 TT starts and to be a part of that history was brilliant for everyone involved. Continuing that relationship for another season and building on last year shows Honda’s commitment to international Road Racing. I’m excited to see what we can all achieve together in 2023.”
McGuinness and Harrison will contest the RST Superbike, two Superstock Races, and the Milwaukee Senior at the 2023 Isle of Man TT Races on the Honda Racing CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SPs.