|Picture: Glynne Lewis|
Morecambe's John McGuinness battled hard on Sunday to pick up two more points at the latest round of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship. Held at the Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire, the Padgetts Honda ace overcame being pushed wide on the opening lap to end the shortened race in 14th place.
After wet weather seriously affected Friday's schedule, John continued his recent short circuit form in qualifying on Saturday when weather conditions were a lot more favourable. Ending the two sessions in eighth place, John lined up on the second row of the grid for Sunday's 14-lap race and a good start saw him go into the first corner in a strong sixth place.
However, the next two corners saw him get pushed wide after a couple of over-zealous overtaking attempts from some of his fellow competitors and he completed the first lap back in 15th place. With lap times between the field extremely close, moving forward proved difficult although a safety car period allowed the pack to bunch back up. Moving up to 14th, John was looking to climb further still in the final third of the race but his hopes were dashed when the race was stopped due to an incident with five laps of the race still to run.
The results were taken at the end of the ninth lap and a slightly disappointed John later commented; "14th wasn't what I hoped for today. Oulton's one of my favourite circuits, as well as being my local one, so having placed so well in qualifying, I was looking for more of the same in the race. A top ten result was the least the team and I deserved this weekend and after making a really good start, I was confident of challenging the top six.
"No sooner had I gone into the first corner though, I was being pushed wide and that put me off line for the next section down the Avenue and into Cascades. There were some really desperate moves being pulled out there and it was a battle just to stay on track and although I regrouped, by that time I was mired deep in the pack. It's such a tough class that it's hard to fight your way back from that but I kept going and if it wasn't for the red flag, I'm sure I would have been knocking on the door of the top ten.
"Like I say, it's not what any of us wanted but we'll come back stronger at Brands next time out. It's another of my favourite circuits so I'll be firmly aiming at the top six once more."
John flew out to Oschersleben, Germany immediately after Oulton for a test session with the Honda TT Legends World Endurance team in preparation for the forthcoming World Championship rounds both there and at Suzuka, Japan. His next meeting though will be the next round of the Superstock series at Brands Hatch on 20th-22nd July.
Report by Phil Wain