It’s been a positive outing for Honda Racing in challenging conditions at the North West 200 this week. Practice, qualifying and racing at the 8.9-mile Northern Ireland circuit has been plagued with tricky weather conditions, delays and cancellations to the schedule throughout.
John McGuinness and Conor Cummins had good runs on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in all Superbike sessions, qualifying third and ninth respectively on the grid. Due to the different weather conditions in both practice and qualifying the original starting positions were amended and decided on an alternate grid pattern, which saw McGuinness move back to fifth and Cummins 11th.
The first Superbike race of the day was red flagged on the first lap and the restart took place just after 4pm, which saw the race shortened from seven to five laps. On the restart McGuinness got a good start off the line and was running in sixth place after the first lap, which is the position he held for most of the race and crossed the line in.
Meanwhile team-mate Cummins was running in eighth place when on the third lap he had a moment and wasn’t sure if it was to do with the high winds or a mechanical issue so returned to the pits, where the mechanics had a look over the bike. With no problems found the Manxman returned to the track and completed the final lap of the race, after being in the pits for one lap.
The second Superbike race of the day was called off by the organisers due to high winds around the circuit and the concern for all riders’ safety.
The Honda Racing squad will now turn its full focus to the Isle of Man TT races, which begin on Monday 1 June where both McGuinness and Cummins will compete in the two Superbike races for Honda Racing.