John McGuinness’ long-awaited return to international road racing is under threat after Fonacab North West 200 organisers were informed the Norton SG8 he had planned to ride has a 1200cc engine.
The rules state that only four-cylinder bikes with 1000cc are eligible for the Superbike races and the Norton does not qualify.
A statement from the NW200 team reads:
The organisers of the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils received an entry from John McGuinness dated 7th February, 2019 to compete for the Norton team in the May 12-18 races.
The entry specified the machine John was entered on for both Superbike races would have an engine capacity of 1000cc.
The entry was accepted on that basis and a recent announcement was made to the press that John would make his comeback to the North West 200 after a two year absence because of a leg injury sustained in 2017. The organisers were delighted at this prospect.
The organisers were subsequently informed on 26 March, 2019 by Norton that the engine capacity of the SG8 superbike they intend to race at the North West will be 1200cc.
It does not, therefore, meet the current Technical regulations for the NW200 superbike races and would not be eligible for competition at the event.
John McGuinness and Norton CEO, Stuart Garner, have both been informed of that situation. It is hoped that a solution can still be found to resolve this issue before May and that both John McGuinness and Norton will take part in the 90th anniversary event.