|Picture by Steve Corlett - www.racingpix.im|
Morecambe's John McGuinness was denied the chance to race for his 20th Isle of TT victory last Saturday when the Blue Riband Senior race was cancelled.
Adverse weather conditions on the Island meant that the six-lap race was postponed from its scheduled start on Friday but with damp patches remaining on various parts of the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, the organisers took the decision to cancel the race on the grounds of safety.
The Superbike machines, some making close to 200bhp, are now deemed unsuitable and too dangerous for racing on damp roads at the Isle of Man and many riders, including John, agreed with the decision to cancel the race, but aside from two world wars and the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001, it was the only time the Senior race hasn't been held.
The cancellation did mean that John returned the Joey Dunlop TT Championship Trophy with two wins, a fourth and a fifth from his four races and it gave him 74 points, seven ahead of nearest rival Bruce Anstey.
The Lightweight race, for smaller capacity machines, did take place whilst John also took part in a Monster Energy parade lap alongside current MotoGP star Cal Crutchlow.
Speaking later, the 19-times TT winner said: "No one wants to see a race cancelled but I think the right decision was made. There was so much rainfall on Friday that the course was saturated and on some parts of the course it simply wasn't drying up. Through Glen Helen, the 13th Milestone and from the Mountain Mile to Brandywell were still very wet. As riders, we want to put on a show for the thousands of fans that come to the TT - and I feel for them more so than anyone - but not knowing what lies round the corner on a 200bhp Superbike with slick tyres is a very scary prospect.
"When conditions are perfect, there's no better place in the world to race a motorbike and we've seen some fantastic racing this weekend so it's a shame to end on a bit of a low note but we'll all be back next year to give it another go. Rider safety is paramount and we've had a good fortnight with no serious accidents so I think the Clerk of the Course is to be commended not just for his decision today but for everything that's been done at this year's TT."
"I didn't get to race my Honda TT Legends Superbike machine but I did get to ride it in a parade lap and it was an absolute thrill to go round the course and wave at all the fans that were lining the course. It felt very, very special and I enjoyed every single second of it as I'm sure Cal did to. Overall, I've had another great TT and to add two more wins to my collection has been brilliant, particularly the Superstock victory as that's one I've been chasing for some time. It also felt special to take a podium in the TT Zero race on the Mugen Shinden whilst I was also competitive in the two Supersport races. It's been hard work as always but the racing has been superb and I'd like to thank all the team for their hard work. Everyone's been 100% behind me whilst the fans never cease to amaze me and their support continues to remain invaluable."
John now returns to the short circuits with the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship taking place at Knockhill from Sunday 22nd - 24th June