Clive Padgett’s Milenco Honda squad will be hoping for a repeat of their winning performance at the 2019 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 when the Yorkshire based team returns to the north coast on May 8-14.
Davey Todd claimed his first major road race win at the 2019 event in the team’s colours aboard a CBR600RR Honda in the Saturday Supersport race.
Todd’s 2019 deal with Padgett’s limited him to the 600cc class but that North West performance helped him secure a full-time ride with the squad as teammate to Manxman, Conor Cummins.
“Davey and Conor will race at this year’s North West in the Supersport, Superstock and Superbike classes on Fireblades and CBR600RRs.” Padgett explained as the team enjoyed its first test session of the new season at Snetterton last weekend. Todd will also campaign a Fireblade in the British Superstock championship alongside the team’s new Scottish recruit, Lewis Rollo.
Sadly, Padgett also confirmed that 51 year old Bruce Anstey won’t be racing at Portrush during 2022. A battle with cancer forced the ten times North West winner to miss the 2018 season before he bounced back to win the 250cc race at the 2019 Classic TT.
Todd and Rollo tested the new generation Fireblade at Snetterton but Cummins was forced to sit out the shakedown after breaking a collarbone in a recent motocross crash in Spain.
“I am all back together and resting up before starting training again.” the 35 year old, who enjoyed two third place finishes in the Supersport and Superbike races at the North West in 2019, explained.
Padgett is confident the new Honda superbike will allow his riders to be more competitive around the 8.9 mile Triangle course.
“The old Fireblade didn’t change much between 2008 and 2019 but the new bike is completely new.” the 62 year old explained.
“I think the new bike is a game changer. Everything is different and we have a lot of learning to do.”
Todd is currently road racing’s hottest property after his NW200 victory and breaking through the 131mph barrier at the Isle of Man TT in 2019 but he also retains aspirations of making his mark on the British short circuit scene.
“The set-up for 2022 with Padgetts is exactly what I wanted to be doing with a full season in British Superstock and on the roads.” the 26 year old Englishman, who rode a Penz13.com S1000RR BMW during 2019, said.
“I never felt comfortable on the BMW.” he explained.
“It didn’t suit me and I struggled with the bike.”
He already feels more at home on the new Honda.
“I felt comfortable straight away on the new bike.” Todd said.
“After the first couple of sessions I rode myself into the bike and was going a lot faster.”
Cummins agrees that the latest version of the Fireblade will provide a power boost.
“The new bike will contribute massively but the rest has to come from me.” the 35 year old said as he dismissed suggestions that a three year lay off from the major road races will have a detrimental impact on lap times.
“I know what the competition has done and I know what I need to do to deliver but I don’t think the break will have much of an impact.” Cummins explained.
“Everyone has been racing at a competitive level.”
His team boss agrees.
”Sometimes riders can put too much pressure on themselves.” Clive Padgett said.
“We all want to get good results but that doesn’t happen if you aren’t enjoying yourself.”