John McGuinness takes 45th TT Races podium
Honda Racing’s John McGuinness opened his 2016 campaign at the Isle of Man TT races with third place in Saturday’s 6-lap Superbike race, the 45th podium in the Morecambe Missile’s illustrious TT career.
Having lapped at more than 131mph during practice week, the 44-year had an unusually sluggish start to the race and found himself back in seventh at Glen Helen on the opening lap, nine miles into the race. However, by the end of the first 37 and ¾ miles, he’d fought his way up to fifth with an opening speed of 130.322mph.
Getting into his stride all the time, a substantially quicker lap second time around of 131.451mph elevated him up to fourth and he was now just two tenths of a second behind third placed man Dean Harrison. Indeed, with his customary quick pit-stop, he took control of third place and the final podium position on the third lap.
Circulating on the road with eventual winner Michael Dunlop and second placed Ian Hutchinson, John lapped quicker still on his fourth lap – 131.538mph – to pull away from Harrison and strengthen his hold on the position. And he duly crossed the line at the end of the six laps and 226 miles of racing in third place for yet another podium finish, his gap over new fourth place man Peter Hickman a comfortable 17 seconds.
In the fastest race ever witnessed around the Mountain Course, Dunlop shattered the lap and race records, becoming the first rider to lap in under 17 minutes, his new outright lap record being 133.393mph.
“I was way off the pace at Glen Helen on the opening lap and when I saw ‘P7’ on my board, I couldn’t believe it as it felt like a good sector – and when Hutchy came by me on the second lap, I started to think I might have to hang my boots up there and then! It woke me up though and I pushed hard again, eventually moving up to third after yet another brilliant pit stop by the boys in the team.”
“I got by him again at Bishopscourt and I’ve lapped quicker than I have done all week so I’ve got to be happy. It’s my 20th year at the TT and I’ve got my 45th podium so I can’t complain. I knew we’d have two good pit stops and the bike never missed a beat whilst it was great to ride round with Ian. It’s another podium finish and I’m in some good company with Michael and Hutchy – there’s no disgrace in coming third behind those boys as they were really flying today.”
John’s back in action on Monday where he’ll be riding the Jackson Racing Honda in the Supersport race and the EMC2/Bet Victor Honda Fireblade in the Superstock race, both running over four laps of the Mountain Course.