Lexelle-sponsored John McGuinness will join a star-studded line-up in this year’s Thundersprint as it relocates to the Darley Moor circuit in Derbyshire.

The prestigious bike race has been staged at Anglesey for many years but will now take place in the heart of the English countryside over the weekend of 10th/11th May.

It will be the first time that John, who is one of the greatest TT riders ever, will have competed in the Thundersprint due to other racing commitments.

He will be up against the likes of Scott Redding and Nick Jefferies on the track and says he is relishing the opportunity to race on the Darley Moor circuit again.

“I’ve competed in every ‘Stars at Darley’ meeting since 1998 and love riding there,” he told the Thundersprint website.

“The length of a lap is a bit different from the TT, to say the least, but Darley is a great little track and a lot of fun.

“I have been meaning to ride at the Thundersprint for years and years but there has always been some clash which has prevented me from making an appearance and so I am really pleased to be there at last.

“In some ways, the Thundersprint is very like the TT because there is a really relaxed atmosphere for the spectators with Mums and Dads and the family dog there, alongside hard core race fans.”

Although John is looking forward to meeting with fans, he says he will remain completely focussed on the racing.

“The Thundersprint will be completely different. I will have all the time in the world for fans and when I am not having a play about on the track with Scott Redding and Nick Jefferies I will be in the paddock talking about the TT,” he added.

“It’s going to be a great weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Thundersprint organiser Frank Melling said: “John is one of the all-time greats of TT racing and is very much a riders’ rider.

“We watched John break the 130mph lap barrier from the banking at Creg Ny Baa and he was so elegant and smooth that he made it look like a Sunday ride out. That’s the sign of the best of the best.

“We’ve been talking to John about riding in the Thundersprint for the last twelve years now so we’re more than satisfied to have him join us at what we hope will be the first of many Thundersprints.”