Honda Racing UK is delighted to confirm its 2023 rider line-up for the International Road Racing season with the team looking forward to returning to the NW200 and Isle of Man TT once again. Returning to ride for the manufacturer, with whom he has amassed 16 of his 23 total TT wins, road racing royalty John McGuinness MBE will line up again in Honda Racing colours aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. Joining him for the 2023 campaign will be Manxman Nathan Harrison, a rising star of the roads.
As the most successful manufacturer to have raced at the TT, Honda is thrilled to continue its relationship with the ‘Morecambe Missile’ after their history-making year together in 2022 saw Honda celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade, whilst John recorded his 100th TT start. The two combined are a proven winning combination and are now set to continue writing history together for another year.
Lining up alongside his childhood idol, Nathan enters the team fresh from his first outing at the Senior TT in 2022 where he recorded a 128.087 MPH lap and placed 10th aboard the Isle of Man Steam Packet Fireblade. Although last year was Nathan’s first time riding in the Senior race, he is no stranger to racing on the island, amassing wins and podiums at the Manx Grand Prix. With full support from the Honda team and the guidance and mentorship of his vastly experienced teammate, 2023 will be an exciting year on the roads for Nathan lining up beside his hero at both the NW200 and TT.
The Honda Racing UK team once again reaffirms its commitment to the International Road Racing programme and will participate at the NW200 and Isle of Man TT in both the Superstock and Superbike classes during this year’s season.
John McGuinness MBE
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 Harv and Neil. 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!
To race alongside John and to ride in the Honda Racing UK team has always been a dream of mine. Coming from a Manx family that has always been involved in motorcycling, the TT has always been in my blood. Watching the TT as a child with John & Honda dominating, it made me want to be the next ‘John McGuinness’ and that was my full focus. I can’t thank Havier & Honda Racing UK enough for the opportunity. It’s only my second ever TT, so to be going into it on a great bike, with the best teammate I could ask for, will be an incredible experience. Hopefully, the long-term plan of where John can teach me things I may not know, learning from the team with the experience they have on the Fireblade and then my own progression, we can make small steps on last year to hopefully get me to that top step in the years to come. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my Mum and Dad for all their support and sacrifice over the years, my sponsors and supporters for sticking by me and helping me to get to this position where I have been given the fantastic opportunity.
Havier Beltran – Team Manager, Honda Racing UK
I’m extremely pleased that we have been able to retain John’s services for another year of racing on the roads at the NW200 and TT where we have such a strong history at both events. Welcoming him back into the fold in 2022 was fantastic and to witness John celebrating 100 TT starts and 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. It also gives me great pleasure to welcome Nathan to the team. He had a remarkable breakthrough year in 2022 and has 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 excited to see what we can all achieve together in 2023.
Neil Fletcher – Head of Motorcycles, Honda UK
We’re really excited to be competing once more in the international road racing programme. Returning to the NW200 and TT last year after a short absence reminded us all of just how important these events are to the motorcycle racing community. Having John, with whom we have shared so much success over the years, to return to the team in 2022 and celebrate his 100th TT start, as well as the Fireblade’s 30th anniversary, was something truly special as he is such a valued member of the team. It was therefore an easy decision to continue that relationship as his status and experience are second to none. It also gives me great pleasure to welcome Nathan to the team for 2023. He clearly has the talent and hunger to push on to bigger and better things after a strong first Senior TT last year and it represents our continued commitment to help support and nurture future talent on the Roads. Now that our plans are all complete, I for one, simply cannot wait to get started!