Two Nortons for TT 2013

Dan Hegarty joins Ian Mackman for next year

NORTON'S TT return in 2012 might not have been quite the event many hoped, with teething problems in practice and a rained-off race. But the firm is heading back to the Isle of Man next year with twice the bikes in the hope of actually getting some racing done.

Nottingham-based rider Dan Hegarty, 25, might not be a big TT name just yet but he's shown promise in three visits to the island, lapping at over 121mph in the 2012 Superbike race. Now he's signed to ride Norton's Aprilia-engined prototype in the Senior next year. Existing rider Ian Mackman is also staying with the team for 2013.

Although the Norton – which is only eligible for the Senior thanks to its prototype status – didn't get to race in 2012, it did manage a lap of 124mph in practice. With another year's development and two riders on board, it should be significantly quicker next year.

Stuart Garner, Norton's owner and CEO, said: “We have followed Dan’s progress at the TT and have been very impressed with his ability and commitment to the sport. Along with these qualities he also brings a very competitive edge to the team, which makes him a great rider to work with. This gives the Norton team a very exciting future for our road racing plans.”