John McGuinness is looking forward to getting a good look at his Isle of Man TT competition when the North West 200 gets underway on Tuesday.
The Morecambe Missile has six wins in Northern Ireland with the 8.970-mile course forming a triangle between the coastal towns of Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart.
The event acts as the final major meeting before heading to the Isle of Man with McGuinness and team mate Conor Cummins set to represent Honda Racing in the two superbike races and Honda-backed Jackson Racing in the two supersport races.
The resort racer, who turned 44 last month, said: “It’s a beautiful bit of the world.
“I’ve been there every year since 1994 and it’s a unique track and a good checkdown for the TT.
“All the competition will be there and everybody gets a good look at each other.
“Hutchy (Ian Hutchinson) is back from injuries, there’s the old codgers like me, (Bruce) Anstey and (Michael) Rutter, and the new blood like Michael Dunlop and Lee Johnston.”
McGuinness feels in good shape physically knowing now more than ever he has to keep himself in good nick to stay at the sharp end of the races.
He said: “I feel good.
“I’ve lost a bit of weight under a bit of pressure from Mugen (Honda, who run his electric bike at the Isle of Man TT). They wanted me to lose some timber.
“I turned 44 the other day. I only have to look at a cake and it’s straight on the hips while some people can eat pie and chips and not put any weight on.
“I’ve been doing some endurance work.
“The heart is still there, the passion is still there, and that’s all you need. I’m really up for it.”