John McGuinness, the CBR1000RR Fireblade and ASIMO at the Isle of Man TT (photo by Nozomi Fujimura, EI Publishing Co., Ltd.)
Isle of Man, United Kingdom - ASIMO travelled to the Isle of Man this week to celebrate the Centenary of the world famous Tourist Trophy (TT) races. The Isle of Man TT has a special place in Honda's own history and has been the cornerstone of Honda's racing efforts for the last 48 years.
To mark the occasion, ASIMO was a special guest at the annual ‘Honda Day' on the 3rd June, which celebrates the importance of racing to Honda. This year included showcases of stunt riding and freestyle motocross as well as three opportunities for racing enthusiasts to meet ASIMO.
Local school children and their families have also been the focus of ASIMO's visit to the Island. During the week ASIMO performed 12 specially arranged shows at the Villa Marina in Douglas, the Island's capital. Each show was hosted by motoring journalist Fran Robinson and was followed by a question and answer session.
Honda's relationship with the TT began in 1954, when the company's founder Soichiro Honda vowed to take part. Five years later, a party of four riders and five engineers set foot on Manx soil to begin Honda's love-affair with the Tourist Trophy races. The first year saw a sixth, seventh, eighth and tenth place claiming the Manufacturers' title, but just two years later Honda won its first race in the hands of legendary rider Mike Hailwood. Its riders had dominated practice for the 1961 Ultra Lightweight TT and Hailwood led a sweep of five Hondas in the top six placings, which he followed-up with a win in the Lightweight TT later the same day.
Since then, Honda has carried on winning at the TT - its current tally of victories stands at 130 - and Honda Racing currently holds the outright lap record of 129.451mph which John McGuinness set last year on-board his HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.
The festival lasts for two weeks with modern day motorcycle racing heroes aiming to take race victories for the 37.73 mile Mountain Course as well as further solo and sidecar racing.