Road Racing

Could John McGuinness swap Norton for Ducati on 2020 Isle of Man TT?

John McGuinness remains under contract with Norton but says he is unsure if he will ride with the marque in the 2020 Isle of Man TT

John McGuinness has revealed he is yet to source a ride for the 2020 Isle of Man TT but has suggested he could be prepared to ride a Ducati Panigale V4 R on the event if the opportunity arises.

The TT legend – who has 23 wins to his name on the ‘Mountain’ – ended his long association with Honda ahead of the 2018 event in favour of a move to Norton for the Superbike races.

However, after this debut was scuppered when he suffered serious injuries in an accident on the North West 200, a return to the event in 2019 yielded limited success with the British marque.

For now, Norton’s 2020 TT plans remain undecided, leaving McGuinness – who is under contract – in limbo for next year’s event.

“I can’t really say too much at the minute, I’m still under contract with Norton so I’ve got to get around the table with them to see if we’re going to go forward with that or not.”

John McGuinness puts ‘sensational’ Ducati option forward?

Regarding options outside of Norton, McGuinness has hinted there could be a chance to ride the Ducati Panigale V4 R on the TT.

Though Ducati entries have been scarce at the TT recently due to stresses the road course traditionally places on its frame, McGuinness – who rode the winged Panigale V4 R at the recent Macau GP – speculates that he would be prepared to hit Bray Hill on the machine, which has been lauded in BSB and WorldSBK for its superior top speed.

“The V4 Ducati was sensational, I really, really enjoyed it. I didn’t really know what to expect, I was a bit nervous as they were big shoes to fill with it being the [British] Championship winning bike! It would have been nice to do a little test with it but the first time I rode it was straight out of the pit lane at Macau, but I gelled with the bike straight away.”

“Paul Bird Motorsport runs a great team with a great atmosphere and the bike was just awesome apart from in the race where it let me down!

“It’s funny, every single bike I ride I always think ‘what would it be like around the Isle of Man?’ and I would be confident to go down Bray Hill tomorrow on that Ducati, that’s for sure. I don’t know, it looks right! It’s got wings on it! I don’t know if that’s good or bad for the TT but I’d be confident to ride it.”

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