IoM TT manufacturer Norton Motorcycles goes into administration

Lewis Duncan
Autosport
Norton Motorcycles goes into administration
Norton Motorcycles goes into administration

Norton Motorcycles has been placed into administration, plunging its road-racing activities into serious doubt for the 2020 season.

Stuart Garner took over running the iconic British motorcycle brand back in 2008 following another period of financial uncertainty, and brought Norton back to the Isle of Man TT over the following decade.

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Last year it contested the event, as well as the North West 200, with 23-time TT winner John McGuinness - but reliability woes with its SG8 Superbike and the Superlight supertwin machine meant McGuinness never saw a chequered flag on a Norton.

McGuinness did have a contract with Norton for 2020, but instead signed for the Bournemouth Kawasaki squad.

Norton's plans for the year ahead were already uncertain, with its only confirmed racing operation being the Lightweight TT race with Peter Hickman - but the Smiths Racing Team are developing and running that bike.

Autosport reached out to Norton several times last month to find out about its racing plans, but to no avail.

Norton faced a winding up order last month over a tax debt of £300,000.

It initially owed £600,000, but it claimed it was owed £135,000 from HMRC in research and development tax credits.

It was given 63 days to settle the outstanding amount, with another hearing set for February 12.

Administrators BDO told the BBC: "We are taking all necessary steps to ensure that customers, staff and suppliers are supported through the administration process.

"Our job is to determine and execute the most appropriate strategy as swiftly as possible to protect creditors' interests, bearing in mind the need to minimise distress for all parties."

The development leaves 100 jobs at Norton's Castle Donington base at risk.

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