“The experienced, the present and the future”, is how Norton CEO, Stuart Garner, described his three-man rider line-up ahead of the Bennetts Lightweight TT due to take place on Wednesday 5th June.
With 23 Isle of Man TT wins under his belt, John McGuinness has been confirmed as the only rider for the Norton team in the Senior and Superbike races on board their V4 race bike. He also brings swathes of vital TT experience to a brand-new bike for a team that has never raced in the Lightweight class, despite never racing in it himself.
The fastest ever man around the Mountain Course, Peter Hickman, joins the team with Davey Todd, the second fastest ever newcomer to the TT (behind Hickman) offering youthful exuberance.
The all new Norton Superlight is powered by a 650cc twin engine designed and developed in house by Norton. With a handmade tubular aluminium chassis, again designed and manufactured in house at the Norton factory it’s set to challenge the Kawasaki and Paton dominance of recent years.
Only Hickman has previous experience in the class at the TT, in 2017. He retired from last year’s race on the last lap when again lying in third place and he set his fastest lap for the class with 119.293mph.
2019 will see McGuinness return to the TT for the first time since breaking his leg at the North West 200 in 2017. The Morecambe rider has targeted the Lightweight Race victory from the moment the Superlight was unveiled. He had been due to contest last year’s race for former race winner Farquhar before the injury forced his withdrawal.
Todd will be competing in his second TT in 2019 and although he didn’t contest the Lightweight Race last year, he did race in the class at other meetings during the year, at both the Ulster Grand Prix and Southern 100.
“I’m blown away with the Norton Superlight,” McGuinness said. “It’s a class I’ve never raced in so I’m really excited and want to be winning. It’s another opportunity for a win for me and it’s another manufacturer in the class so I’ll be putting my heart and soul into it.”
Garner added, “We believe that we’ve got a very competitive bike for the class and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure the best riders as well.”