After a record-breaking fortnight of blisteringly fast racing at the Isle of Man TT Races, Honda emerges as the manufacturer of choice, securing the coveted Manufacturer Award.
Heading into the event, eight of the top twenty-seeded riders in the big-bike classes were all competing aboard Honda machinery, made up predominantly of CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SPs and a single RC213V-S in the recognisable Batham’s colours.
Honda riders up and down the field produced excellent performances during practice week as near-perfect conditions enabled them to get their heads down from the off and dial in their setups. The latest model Fireblade, in the hands of Michael Dunlop (Hawk Racing), would lap at a staggering 135.531 mph average lap speed during practice week, setting the quickest-ever Honda lap of The Mountain Course, albeit unofficially as the time was not set during a race. This display of raw speed and aggression had spectators eager to see more come race week.
A revised schedule at this year’s TT would see the opening Monster Energy Supersport Race kick off the racing action on Saturday 3rd June. In this race, the smaller capacity Honda CBR600RR was on display in the hands of multiple teams and would occupy four positions within the top fifteen at the drop of the flag. The highest finisher, Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgetts Motorcycles) in fifth. In the second Supersport race, held later in the week, Davey would better this finishing position with a strong ride to fourth position.
In the RST Superbike Race, the first six-lap race of the event, Michael Dunlop on his Hawk Racing Fireblade displayed his sensational talent once more, putting in a dominant performance to win the race. Honda’s first Superbike race win since Bruce Anstey in 2015.
In Superstock trim, the class of racing most closely aligned to the road-going production model of ‘the blade,’ Michael Dunlop (MD Racing) secured a further two podiums with second-place finishes in both races. In each race, six Honda riders would finish inside the top fifteen.
The final race of the event was the blue riband Milwaukee Senior TT. In this final 226-mile race, also contested aboard a Superbike spec machine, a remarkable seven Honda riders would occupy positions within the top fifteen. Six of which were inside the top ten. And as has been the case throughout the event, the highest-placed finisher was Michael Dunlop, who added another podium to his tally with a third-place finish.
The factory-owned Honda team, Honda Racing UK, and rider John McGuinness MBE also had a successful TT event competing in the two ‘big bike classes.’ John, who now has an astonishing 108 TT starts (80 of which on a Honda) scored three fighting top-ten results with a best finish of sixth in the opening RST Superbike Race. He also became the only rider to lap the TT circuit in their fifties at an average lap speed in excess of 131 mph.
Havier Beltran – Honda Racing UK Team Manager
This year’s Isle of Man TT races has delivered on all accounts. We have had some of the best weather that the island has to offer and we have seen some sensational racing. Riders and teams up and down the field have all committed themselves to this sport and spent hours upon hours preparing themselves and their machines for this event. Receiving this award goes a long way to reward all of the hard work and effort that this team, and all other teams running a Honda Fireblade, dedicate in order to compete in this event.
Neil Fletcher – Head of Motorcycles, Honda UK
Honda has a rich and colourful history with the Isle of Man TT races, so to collect the Manufacturer Award is an absolute honour. Honda has been coming to race on the Island since 1959 and the very fabric of this event is woven into its DNA. We are incredibly proud of this achievement and want to congratulate every member of each Honda team for their hard work and dedication. It is fitting that in 1959 when Honda first made the monumental journey to this island in the Irish Sea to race for the first time, they were awarded this very same award. Now, some 64 years later we are here doing just the same.
2023 Isle of Man TT Races point scoring teams & riders
Honda Racing UK – John McGuinness MBE
Hawk Racing – Michael Dunlop
MD Racing – Michael Dunlop
Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles – Davey Todd & Conor Cummins
C&L Fairburn Properties / Jackson Racing – David Johnson
KTS Racing powered by Steadplan – Jamie Coward
Bathams Racing – Michael Rutter & Craig Neve
Smith Racing – Michael Evans
Team Kibosh – Shaun Anderson
SMT Racing – Rob Hodson