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TT Races 2009

The greatest road race festival in the world will roar back into life on May 30th, 2009!
After the excitement of the 2008 Isle of Man TT celebrations, when fans were treated to some of the most competitive racing the event has ever seen, all eyes are now on TT2009.
The HM Plant Honda team, who have supported BikeWise over the years, consists of four seasoned campaigners to include 14-times TT winner John McGuinness, six-times North West 200 winner Steve Plater and five-times Sidecar TT winner Nick Crowe, with passenger Mark Cox.
2009 marks Honda's 50th anniversary of participation in motorcycle racing - beginning with the 1959 Isle of Man TT races. Since then, globally, Honda has endeavoured to win in every racing category it has entered. With pure road-racing and the Isle of Man TT races being so close to heart, 2009 sees one of Honda's strongest ever rider line-ups for the road, as the marque attempts to celebrate its Golden Road-Racing Anniversary in style with yet more wins.
John said, "It's a pleasure to continue my time withHM Plant Honda - one of the most respected teams in the road-race scene and also, to be back with some of the mechanics that I've had TT success with in the past. I know that with the team behind me and even further developments and improvements to both the Fireblade and CBR600RR we'll be in good shape for both these important events."
John will take part in the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock races at the Isle of Man and Superbike and Supersport classes at the North West.
Joining John is Steve Plater, a regular winner of the North West 200, but a relative newcomer to the Isle of Man TT races. Despite only beginning his TT career in 2007, where he became the fastest newcomer of all-time, Steve scooped a Supersport win in 2008.
"For me in 2009, the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races are so close to my heart and a massive part of my season," said Steve. "I've won a few races at the North West, but I'm still hungry for more. I took three wins from four races there this year, but I wanted a clean sweep - that's now the aim for 2009. At the TT, to be the fastest newcomer ever was a dream, but that meant I didn't know if I should go back - as how do you beat a year like that? I have decided to finish my 'three-year apprenticeship' of the Island though and this year I took the Supersport win, and in doing so took five seconds out of John on the Mountain. You don't do that lightly, so I'm also looking forward to the TT with HM Plant Honda."
Like John, Steve will also take part in the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock races at the Isle of Man and Superbike and Supersport classes at the NW200.
Competing in the sidecar event at the TT for HM PlantHonda are Nick Crowe and passenger Mark Cox. Nick originally began his TT career as a passenger in 1995, before his first race as driver in 2002. He has five TT wins to his credit. Mark started his riding career as a solo rider, but when he got the chance of standing in for an injured sidecar racer he's never looked back. Mark has experienced success at World Championship and F2 Championship level. Nick said, "To be associated with the HM Plant Honda team is an honour! I've got five TT wins and missed out in 2007 due to problems, but we learnt from our mistakes and came back this year to win both races. We'll both be aiming to do the same in 2009!" Mark added, "We did the double at the TT in 2008 after a disappointing 2007, so we've learned from that and want another double with HM Plant Honda in '09!"
HM Plant Honda Team Manager, Havier Beltran, said, "We've got an incredibly strong line-up for the roads in 2009 - a very important year for Honda - celebrating its 50th anniversary of road-racing, which began with Honda's first assault on the Isle of Man TT races. John is still the man to beat around the 37.73-mile Mountain circuit, while Steve has proved to be one of the most remarkable newcomers of recent years, surprising many TT regulars with his speed around the course and taking a Supersport win last year. Both riders also have enviable reputations around the legendary North West 200 course, with Steve and John taking wins around the nine-mile 'Triangle' circuit. Nick and Mark have shown their speed by taking two wins this year and we'll be backing them 100% so they can do the same in 2009. We're also very happy to be continuing our road-racing relationship with Dunlop for 2009."
Celebration activities at the 2009 TT event to mark Honda's 50th anniversary of racing are currently in planning and will be announced in the near future.