Crash puts TT champ on sidelines
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The high-speed motorcycle racing action on the Isle of Man is now just a few days away but it will begin without its most successful active rider.
Honda Racing's John McGuinness has been sidelined from the 2017 Isle of Man TT following a crash during qualifying for the North West 200 road race in Northern Ireland this month.
The 23-time TT winner's injuries include a compound fracture of his lower right leg as well as four broken vertebrae and three broken back ribs. He is expected to wear a cast for up to six weeks in treatment for the vertebrae while an external fixator will be used to support the healing process on his leg injury.
If the early stages of his recovery go to plan, McGuinness is hoping to make a visit to the TT during race week as a spectator.
Because the Honda Racing team could not identify the cause of the accident, it withdrew the Superbike and Superstock versions of the new CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 that were entered for Guy Martin at North West 200.
Martin will lead the Honda Racing effort at the 2017 TT where the new Fireblade is making its Isle of Man debut.
Teams are this week setting up pit areas adjacent to the Douglas grandstand and TT evening practice on the 60km Mountain Course begins this Saturday.
There's effectively a full week of practice and qualifying for the TT with the roads closed to daily traffic for 150-minute sessions each day starting at 6.20pm.
The opening race day on Saturday, June 3, begins with the RST Superbike Race over six laps.
The Superbike field is being led away by Australian David Johnson aboard the new Norton SG6 and the top contenders are expected to include Ian Hutchinson (Tyco BMW), Michael Dunlop -- who has switched to the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 -- and New Zealand's Bruce Anstey, who is set to ride the Padgett's Motorcycles Honda RC213V MotoGP replica machine and has been seeded with the No.2 start position.
Due to lead away a field of nearly 50 outfits in the three-lap Sidecar race are brothers Ben and Tim Birchall, who are looking to extend their record of four TT wins.
A Monday, June 5, double-header comprises the Monster Energy 600cc Supersport 1 race in the morning followed in the afternoon by the RL 360 Quantum 1000cc Superstock race.
Wednesday, June 7, has a busy race schedule with the Monster Energy 600cc Supersport 2 event, the Bennett's Lightweight Race for 650cc SuperTwin machines and the SES TT Zero electric bike race.
The final day of TT race action is on Friday, June 9, with the second of the three-lap Sidecar races andy the six-lap PokerStars Senior TT.