Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness says his focus is now fully on the roads as the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy draws near.
The 17-time TT winner was in action at Oulton Park on Monday, taking 9th in the third round of the National Superstock 1000cc Championship. McGuinness said it was good result which had put him in the right frame of mind for the month ahead, which culminates in the TT.
Competing in the Superstock series for the first time since Easter, McGuinness showed strong form throughout practice and qualifying on the Padgetts Honda Fireblade and his efforts were rewarded on race day with his first points of the season.
He was 10th in opening qualifying on Saturday, but a strong performance in Sunday's final qualifying session saw McGuinness take a second off his time to line up in 7th place.
Despite concerns about the weather, the 14-lap race got underway in dry weather. A sluggish start by McGuinness, later diagnosed as a clutch problem, meant he got pushed back in the opening lap melee to 12th. He was soon up to 10th and although he was unable to overtake any other riders, he was running the same pace as the front runners and was only 3 seconds adrift of 3rd. As the race went into its final third, McGuinness was right on the back of a three-way dice for 8th, but when Adam Jenkinson crashed out of 6th, the race was ended prematurely and McGuinness was promoted to 9th.
“Oulton’s always been kind to me and I always enjoy coming here so it was good to get a run out on the Superstock bike and even more pleasing to end the weekend with a strong performance.”
“I had a few niggling little issues in qualifying, but I was happy with the final session and 7th on the grid boded well. One of the problems we'd had was with the clutch and although we thought it had been resolved, it came back on the warm up lap and when the race came under starters orders it was 'grabbing' a little and I had to be really careful so as not to get a jump start.”
“That meant I was more cautious than normal and that's why I got pushed back a few places like I did. I regrouped though, got stuck in and was really happy with my lap times, which were really competitive.”
“Ninth's a little bit frustrating as I felt a top six finish could have been ours, but it was a good 9th and it puts me in a really good frame of mind for the important month ahead.”
“The North West 200 and Isle of Man TT are very much on the horizon now so with a good result today, I can now look ahead to the roads and fully focus on the job in hand.”