Belfast Telegraph

John McGuinness in 'best position possible' for North West success after signing Kawasaki deal

John McGuinness
John McGuinness

Six-time North West 200 race winner John McGuinness will race Kawasaki ZX10s in the Superbike and Superstocks at the 2020 North West 200.

The 47 year old will celebrate his 30th season of racing by joining the fonaCAB & Nicholl Oils NW200’s most successful rider, Alastair Seeley, in the BSB Championship winning team which dominated big bike racing around the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit last season.

Glenn Irwin claimed victory in the 2019 Anchor Bar Superbike event and team-mate James Hillier was the winner of the CP Hire Superstock race.

“Everything made perfect sense and we’ve put together a good plan that will put us in the best position possible for the North West 200 and TT,” McGuinness said as he put pen to paper on the contract this week.

It will be McGuinness’s first appearance on a Kawasaki at Portrush but he is certain the Quattro Plant Bournemouth team and the ZX10RR superbike have the pedigree to help him get back to winning ways between the hedges.

“Their record on the roads with James Hillier, in terms of both results and reliability, along with their reputation within the bike industry, speak for themselves and with it being such a family-orientated team, it’s the perfect fit for me,” he said.

“Joining Kawasaki and Pete’s team and riding the Ninja ZX-10RR is a new chapter for me, one I’m excited about and really looking forward to. It’s a highly reputable, professional team who have achieved great things on both the roads and the circuits and, for me, they tick all the boxes. ”

The Morecambe Missile, who has been a North West rostrum finisher 21 times during an illustrious roads’ career, endured a torrid time with Norton last year following his return to action after suffering a serious leg injury at the 2017 North West. McGuinness’s 2019 season ended on a happier note though when he posted his fastest ever lap at the Macau Grand Prix in November on a PBM Ducati.

“After my performances at Macau I really got my mojo back and with my leg now 100% I feel like I’m riding as well as ever,” McGuinness said.

23-time TT winner McGuinness and 24-time Triangle course victor Seeley pose a formidable duo and Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki boss Pete Extance is aiming for more North West glory come May.

“We know there’s a big job ahead of us to be ready for the new season," the Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki boss said.

“Hopefully, we can put John McGuinness back on the podium at the North West 200 in 2020, the place where we know he belongs. Together with Alastair, we have a simply stunning line up of riders for the International road races and we can’t wait for it all to start.”

NW200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte added: “John McGuinness has been racing at the North West 200 since 1994 and we are delighted he will be returning with Pete Extance’s team in 2020.

“The Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki squad scored a brilliant double at last year’s North West. Wouldn’t a John McGuinness win in the team's colours be a wonderful way to begin this road racing legend’s 30th year in the saddle?"

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