Norton has won the 2012 Motul Team Award for Technical Excellence at the 2012 Isle of Man.
Event organisers ACU Events Ltd and representatives of the Race Committee, which includes the rider liaison officers Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle and John Barton, judged the award.
The appearance of Norton in the Senior TT with Ian Mackman riding SG1 will be almost 20 years to the day since Steve Hislop rode a Norton to victory in what is widely acknowledged as the greatest TT race of all time and the company’s CEO Stuart Garner is pleased to have achieved qualification this time.
A factory-backed Norton originally returned to the TT in 2009, after an absence of 17 years, but the machine didn’t finish a practice lap and so failed to qualify for the races.
Stuart said: “It is great to win this award as it really has been a team effort. Everyone who has worked on this also works at the factory and they have done a huge amount of development work in their free time.”
“We’ve also been very fortunate with our suppliers and main sponsor Santander. We are already planning for next year and our long term aim is to be podium contenders.”
He added: “The TT organisation has been hugely supportive and instrumental in getting a prototype back into the class by being flexible over homologation. I think it is hugely important to get a wide mix of machinery and the organisers deserve great credit.”
Isle of Man Government TT and Motorsport Development Manager Paul Phillips said: “This is a thoroughly deserved award and recognises the huge achievement that Norton has pulled off in building a bike in their British factory and qualifying the machine for the Senior TT. It is fantastic to have such a great name lining up on the grid and we look forward to them adding to their great TT record.”
Mackers set a similar pace to Tuesdays practice of 112.485mph on his first lap but fog on the mountain section during the second lap caused the session to be cancelled. Improvements needed, but we’re in good shape for the next session tonight if the rains holds out.
After narrowly missing out on Monday night’s practice, the Norton SG1 was fully prepared to make its mountain debut for last night’s practice session.
Works rider ‘Mackers’ took the SG1 to the course for the first time lapping a more than respectable 112.36mph in a 35 minute session, reaching speeds just shy of 180mph. This wasn’t just a successful debut lap, this was the first lap completed by a Norton in 20 years!!!
Mackers said, “The bike is surprisingly good. I reckon the exhaust is loud enough to be heard on British mainland!”
Work will continue on the bike today to prepare for tonight’s session. You can listen live on Manx Radio TT from 6.20pm.
Photo courtesy of George Lue.
Stuart Garner with Santander Directors Nick Pulley and John Howe.
The resurgent iconic British Motorcycle brand Norton, founded in 1898 has joined forces with Santander PLC and formed a partnership to race the Senior TT 2012.
Norton’s all new British designed and developed race bike the ‘Norton SG1’ bears Santander livery and will be racing the legendary Senior TT race in the Isle of Man on the 8th June.
Norton Motorcycles race team with the Norton SG1
Santander stepped up and backed the iconic British business in 2011 with an Ex EFG government backed finance loan specifically designed for growing export sales.
Garner added “Santander have worked closely with us to understand our business model and support us fully as we grow the business, the job creation and export sales achieved so far are a direct result of our bank funding. Having a world class partner involved in our race team is a great show of confidence for the Norton brand, we now need to work hard and deliver the full potential this partnership has. We have a three year race plan and are fully focussed to develop the race team into a truly world class proposition”.
Norton Motorcycles CEO Stuart Garner
Works rider Ian ‘Mackers’ Mackman