Ex-Senior Manx GP winner John Simpson will be feeling the heat in 2017

Former Senior Manx Grand Prix winner John Simpson will be lapping up the hot weather in 2017 after taking up an exciting offer to compete in the Argentinian Superbike Championship.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 11:10 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:48 am
Antrim man John Simpson won the Senior Manx Grand Prix at his first attempt in 2012.

The Antrim man won the feature race at the Manx on his debut around the Mountain Course in 2012 on the Splitlath Motorsport Triumph, sealing an unlikely victory after clawing back a deficit of more than one minute as conditions deteriorated on the fourth and final lap to win from fellow newcomer Andrew Soar, who was sadly killed after a crash in the Senior TT in 2016.

Drogheda’s Wayne Kirwan had led for much of the 2012 race before dropping back as the weather worsened, eventually finishing in third place.

Simpson, who also won the British Supersport Cup in 2012, has since steered his career away from the roads and last year the 25-year-old clinched the Thundersport GB Supertwin Championship on the Trickbits Suzuki, narrowly edging out Jonny Towers by only three points after a season-long battle.

The Ulster rider has previously raced Superbike machinery in the past after contesting a few British Superbike rounds in 2011 on the Splitlath Motorsport Aprilia RSV4 and Simpson is gearing up for another new chapter in his career after agreeing to ride a ZX-10R for DPR Kawasaki.

The championship will take place over ten rounds as Simpson bids to add another title to his diverse collection of silverware following championship successes in the Irish Short Circuit 125GP Newcomers class, the New Era CB500 Cup, New Era 600cc Championship, the Manx Grand Prix and Thundersport GB.

“It’s exciting news for me and a new challenge and I can’t wait,” Simpson said.

“I’ve got a test coming up on Monday and Tuesday and I’m looking forward to riding the new weapon for the first time in sunny Argentina.”

Meanwhile, new Honda Racing signing Guy Martin joined team-mate John McGuinness at Monteblanco in Spain on Thursday for his first outing on the new Fireblade.

Both Martin and 23-time Isle of Man TT winner McGuinness are riding stock machines at the private test.

Lincolnshire star Martin announced his shock return to the sport in January, switching to the official Honda team to ride the all-new Fireblade SP2 in his quest to finally become a TT winner.

The 35-year-old will compete in the Superbike and Superstock classes and has been linked to a Ten Kate-prepared Honda for the Supersport races, although he has yet to confirm any deal.

He will also join McGuinness in the Mugen team for the one-lap TT Zero race in June, replacing New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey, who won the race for the first time in 2016.

Northern Ireland’s Lee Johnston is also participating in the test at Monteblanco on the Jackson Racing Honda machines.

McGuinness will also ride for the Preston-based outfit in 2017 in the Supersport class on a Honda CBR600RR.