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Honda TT Legends focus on the positives

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The Honda TT Legends team is keeping its focus firmly on the positive elements of last night’s Albacete 8-hour race despite being forced to retire from the event in the final 50 minutes.

The team had performed an almost faultless race, saving valuable time during pit stops due to an excellent fuelling strategy. By the six-hour stage, it was leading cumulative pit stop time challenge. Steve Plater and John McGuinness were both showing pace and the team was sitting strongly in its target position of fourth with under an hour to go.

McGuinness was in the last seconds of his final stint when the Fireblade lost the back end on the in lap. He was uninjured but unfortunately it was impossible to bring the bike back to the pits to attempt a recovery and therefore the Honda TT Legends team was forced to retire.

While the team is obviously disappointed with the result of the race, the progress made during the second round of the 2011 Endurance World Championship cannot be underestimated. The Honda TT Legends will now move on to more familiar territory – the Isle of Man TT from 30 May-10 June – before taking part in the Suzuka eight-hour race in Japan in July.

Neil Tuxworth, race manager

We have made an awful lot of progress with both the bikes and the team. The fuelling, the brake pads and the tyres are all working well, the team has bonded and the riders are doing a great job. We were only an hour from the end and we were within our target position of top four so we have many positive things to take away with us. Most importantly, we are thankful that John is ok.

Steve Plater

We’re disappointed but that’s endurance racing. We were setting a good pace and holding fourth position with one hour to go when John had an unfortunate crash. This year is a big learning curve for the team and we’ve learned a huge amount again this meeting. We are more competitive than we were at the Bol d’Or which we’re happy about and we aim to move forward at Suzuka.

John McGuinness

I am massively disappointed. We’ve had a good weekend as a team and things were looking good in the race. I was holding the fourth spot and only had one or two laps to go before handing the bike back to Steve, but in the end it didn’t go our way. All we can do now is use what we have learned for Suzuka - and of course look forward to the TT.

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