Saturday, 2 June 2012

Majestic McGuinness makes it TT win number 18

Morecambe's John McGuinness made it TT win number 18 when he clinched victory in Saturday's 6-lap Superbike race. The Honda TT Legends ace had to overcome an early challenge from fellow Honda rider Cameron Donald but aided by the fastest lap of the race, 130.483mph, John was able to consistently edge away in the second half of the race and he eventually took the chequered flag by 14.86s.

With cool, cloudy conditions on the Island, the race got underway 15 minutes later than scheduled at 11.15am and although John led in the early stages, Australian Donald managed to overhaul him. It was close though and at the end of the opening lap, the gap between the two was just 0.2s. It was nip and tuck all the way on the second lap but a lap of 130.382mph allowed John to edge clear and as he came into his first pit stop, he was back in the lead but it was still close, the gap now 2.16s. However, with their now renowned efficiency, the Honda team changed the rear tyre and refuelled the bike in super quick time and John's lead increased to 6 seconds.

On laps three and four, John was really into his stride and by two thirds race distance, his advantage was almost ten seconds, a gap that increased to thirteen seconds after another superb pit stop. From here on in, John was able to ride to his signals and control the race, something he duly did, eventually coming home almost fifteen seconds clear of Donald with Bruce Anstey in third. It was John's 7th win in the Superbike race and his 18th win and 34th podium in total.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted John said; “This feels pretty special. I’ve won a few around here in the past and, to be honest, I never know what to say and going off at number one again, it was just me, the track and the stopwatch. There were a lot of leaves on the track first thing and a bit of mist swirling around over the Mountain so I was a bit tentative on the first lap, just feeling my way into the race. After that though, conditions were good and I felt strong everywhere, so I just read my boards once I’d got the lead.”

“Cameron was really on it to begin with it but, after two fantastic pit stops, I had a real good go on laps three and five, hitting all my apexes and concentrating really hard. There was a big crowd out there and I got a bit emotional when I went through the Creg on the last lap as it reminded me of how I used to wave at Joey all those years ago! I've had a good start to the season, getting in plenty of races and there's no substitute for track time. I'm not getting any younger but I'm really happy with everything at the moment and am enjoying my racing as much as ever. I've got to say a big thank you to all my team and family - I've got a great group of people behind me and to be sitting here with 18 wins is just incredible."

The next race day takes place on Monday with the 4-lap Supersport and Superstock races where John will be out on the Padgetts Honda's

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