John McGuinness has linked up with a second team ahead of his return to the Isle of Man TT this year.
The Morecambe Missile has done a deal with Ryan Farquhar’s Northern Ireland-based KMR/IEG Kawasaki team to race in the Bennetts Lightweight TT.
Having not raced since the 2017 North West 200 due to injury McGuinness had previously announced he had joined the Norton factory team for the Superbike and Senior TT races.
The latest deal means the 23-time TT winner, who won the Lightweight 250cc race with lap and race records in 1999, will be making his debut in the class, for Supertwin-specification machines, after previous contractual obligations prevented him from contesting the four-lap race.
“I raced against Ryan for many years and I know how driven he is to win, his machine preparation is second to none,” said McGuinness.
“I’ve never had the chance to ride the Lightweight class on a Supertwin bike before, but when the opportunity came around, I knew that my first choice would be to ride one of Ryan Farquhar’s bikes.
“I’m really looking forward to my debut.”
The 45-year-old is set to make his return the Mountain Course in 2018 after missing last year’s festival of racing due to his crash at the North West 200 the previous May.
McGuinness suffered a fractured leg and back and rib injuries but is closing in on a return having had the external fixator cage removed from his injured right leg. Farquhar said: “I’m over the moon with the line-up and I’ve always joked with John about riding one of my bikes since the Supertwin race began at the TT.
“It was never possible before with his commitments with Honda but things have now obviously changed.
“Having raced against John, I’ve seen the way that he has rode the Paton at the Classic TT and that would be the closest thing to the Supertwin, so I know he will be able to ride it hard.
“He is definitely in with a realistic chance of getting another TT win.”
McGuinness and Peter Hickman will lead a four-rider KMR/IEG Kawasaki team on the Isle of Man.
The duo will ride identically prepared ER650cc Kawasaki’s for three-time TT winner Farquhar’s team where they will be supported by multiple Irish Champion Derek McGee and former Moto 3 Grand Prix front runner Danny Webb.
McGuinness will also race for Farquhar at the North West 200 which begins on Sunday, May 13.
This year’s Isle of Man festival gets underway later that month on May 26.
The Morecambe great is just three behind the late, great Joey Dunlop who holds the record of 26 Isle of Man wins.