Honda to Contest Isle of Mann TT

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Honda has confirmed its plans to contest the 2002 Isle of Man TT races,returning to the island after a two-year break due to the cancellation ofthe 2001 event.

Honda will field a full team of works machinery and riders in every soloclass and in the two sidecar races during the festival. Racing gets underway on the 37.73-mile Mountain circuit on Saturday June 1 with the six-lapFormula One TT.

"Quite simply, Honda loves racing. We race more products in more eventsworldwide than anybody else and it all started on the Isle of Man," saidHonda UK general manager Mark Davies...

He continued: "For us the Island is part of our heritage and with 113 TTwins we have no intention of stopping yet. As long as there's an annual Isleof Man Tourist Trophy festival Honda will be there."

Honda's history goes back to Soichiro Honda's first visit in 1954, we haveas much enthusiasm for the TT races now as Mr Honda did then."

Davies is also aware of the meaning of the 2002 TT, the first without thelate record TT winner Joey Dunlop.

"I'm sure there will be poignant moments during the course of this year'sevent, the words Joey and TT can never be separated. Honda¹s first TT formore than 20 years without Joey cannot go unnoticed. We hope everyone willbe able to celebrate his 26 TT memorable victories in some way."

Honda will race fully race-prepared versions of it¹s new 954cc Fireblade inthe prestigious Formula One and Senior races with riders Adrian Archibaldand John McGuinness.

Manxman Dave Molyneux will race a CBR600F Sport-engined sidecar while ridersfor the other races during the 2002 TT festival are still to be confirmed.Practice gets under way on Saturday May 25.

"We've also one or two treats in store for the TT fans with Superbikechampion Colin Edwards coming over to join us," added Davies. "In all, we'dlike to make the 2002 TT one to remember, and help people forget thedisappointment of last year¹s event being cancelled."

Former World champion Edwards commented: "The TT is an event I've knownabout since I was a child. I've been close to going there in the past and Ican't wait to visit the Island this year."

2002 Isle of Man TT race schedule:Saturday June 1Formula 1 (Superbike) 6 lapsSidecar Race 3 lapsMonday June 3Lightweight (400)/Ultra-Lightweight (125) 4 lapsProduction (700 - 1010) 3 lapsWednesday June 5Junior TT (Supersport 600) 4 lapsSidecar Race 3 lapsFriday June 7Production TT (600cc) 3 lapsSenior TT (Superbike) 6 laps
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