John McGuinness picks up three top 10s at North West 200

John McGuinness leads Keith Amor and Dean Harrison in Portrush. Picture: Rod Neill
John McGuinness leads Keith Amor and Dean Harrison in Portrush. Picture: Rod Neill

John McGuinness put in some strong performances at the North West 200 road races as the resort ace showed he was back to his best form after an injury-hit 2014.

The Morecambe Missile saw the meeting hit by bad weather and mechanical problems but still managed seventh in the second Supersport 600cc outing before coming home sixth in the solitary Superbike race on Saturday’s main race day.

John McGuinness rounds the York Corner hairpin before the 200mph run to Coleraine. Picture: Rod Neill

John McGuinness rounds the York Corner hairpin before the 200mph run to Coleraine. Picture: Rod Neill

McGuinness had also picked up a 10th-placed finish in the first Supersport race of the week on Thursday evening.

Weather on the Causeway Coast on Saturday saw sunny weather interspersed with heavy showers, which made it difficult for everyone concerned and, after the first Superstock race was cancelled due to two incidents, McGuinness’ first full race was the second Supersport encounter.

Two strong laps enabled the road race great to move up to fifth as he edged away from the group behind him but a rain shower at University on the fourth lap saw him ease off slightly, which allowed Keith Amor and Dean Harrison to overhaul him.

Next time around, the track was dry but the damage had been done and he had to settle for seventh at the chequered flag.

The opening Superbike race was up next with McGuinness out on the Honda Racing machine and although sixth place wasn’t the result he wanted, it was an extremely competitive ride as he was only four seconds off the race win and part of a thrilling race that saw six riders running in close formation throughout.

With the day continuing to be hit by mixed weather and delays, the Morecambe ace then suffered some bad luck when a holed radiator on the warm up lap meant he was unable to start the Superstock race on the EMC2 Honda.

That just left the feature Superbike race but with winds of 40mph hitting the course and with the time already 7.15pm, organisers took the decision to cancel the race on safety grounds.

Earlier in the week McGuinness’ first outing was on Thursday evening in the opening Supersport race.

An overshoot at the Mather’s Cross chicane on the opening lap cost him the chance of a top-five position however as he was docked 10 seconds.

Although he was back down in 15th on time, McGuinness was circulating in close company with team-mate Conor Cummins, Dan Kneen and Keith Amor and their pace meant that John crossed the line 10th overall.

The Isle of Man TT legend now heads to the famous festival of racing which begins on Saturday, May 30, with the first race, on Superbikes, the following Saturday.