John McGuinness, Steve Plater, and Keith Amor are gearing up for the first round of the 2011 FIM Endurance World Championship. The all-new Honda TT Legends team will be heading to France this weekend for the 75th running of the Bol d’Or.
“I’ve done a lot of things in my racing career but I’ve never done a full world endurance season,” said TT Legend John McGuinness. “Pre-season testing has gone very well, we’ve put in a lot of laps and we’ve all stayed in one piece with no crashes, but to be honest I’m nervous and apprehensive about the first race. There’s certainly pressure competing against so many accomplished teams on the world stage, but we have a competitive package with a great history so I want to step up my game and ride well.”
There will be 53 teams taking part in the Bol d’Or this year, and even though the Honda Legends team is made up of some of the best riders in the world, the task ahead will still be tough. All three riders have a lot of racing experience, but the Bol d’Or is a 24 hour race, which could prove to be a little too much for the Legends.
“It’s going to be steep learning curve,” said Steve Plater, a TT and North West 200 winner. “For the team going into the championship with a 24-hour race – we could have done with an 8-hour first off. Having said that, there is a vast amount of experience in the team. Some of the key members have over 25 years experience in EWC and I’ve been endurance racing professionally since 1999. In the past I have mixed road racing and one-off endurance events throughout the season, but this year my focus is solely on the EWC. Testing has been good, the bike has been working well, the team has come together and hopefully when it matters next week we can bring it home and score some points.”
Keith Amor will be taking the final spot on the Honda Legends team. Amor will be competing in the 24-hour Magny-Cours this year, with Cameron Donald as the reserve rider.
“This is a brand new thing for me and jumping straight into the 24 hr race is probably not the ideal way to start my World Endurance career,” Amor said. “I’m a bit apprehensive, a bit nervous but it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a really, really tough challenge but its nice to be working as part of team for each other as opposed to being part of a one-man band. It’s going to be interesting for sure. I plan to ease into it as gently as possible, do safe laps at the outset and make sure I don’t let anybody down.”
For further information on Honda TT Legends visit the new website www.hondattlegends.com For up-to-the-minute news and insider views – including updates and images through the 24hour race – follow @HondaTTLegends on Twitter.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com