John McGuinness set to return to Classic TT with Team Winfield

John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar. Picture: Stephen Davison.
John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar. Picture: Stephen Davison.

John McGuinness will return to the Classic TT Races later this month.

The Morecambe Missile will be part of a stellar three-man Team Winfield line-up with fellow Mountain Course greats Gary Johnson and Ryan Farquhar.

The team, who won the Phillip Island Classic Festival in January this year, have had mixed fortunes since the Classic TT got underway in 2013, leading races only to retire from winning positions, but Roger Winfield’s outfit will again have one of the strongest teams on the Island with McGuinness again signed up to contest the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT and Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 Classic TT Races.

For the third year in a row, 23-times TT winner and current outright lap record holder McGuinness will contest the Bennetts 500cc Classic Race on board a 500cc Paton where he’ll be joined by Farquhar on an identical machine.

The duo will both be hoping for a turnaround in fortunes, having been forced to retire from the corresponding race in 2014.

McGuinness led briefly on the opening lap, having unofficially broken the lap record with a speed of 112.031mph in practice, before stopping at Ginger Hall and his misfortune allowed Northern Ireland star Farquhar to hit the front.

But his lead only lasted until lap three before he too was forced to stop at Sulby Crossroads less than a mile away from his team-mate.

However, the Dungannon rider has a tremendous track record with Winfield and the Paton machine having won the 500cc Classic Manx Grand Prix on no less than five occasions between 2007 and 2012.

Farquhar, 39, will also line up in the Motorsport Merchandise F1 Classic TT Race for Team Winfield with Brigg based rider Johnson. The duo will both compete on F1 Harris Yamaha’s with the pairing having ridden the same bike 12 months ago, Farquhar finishing sixth and Johnson lapping at more than 120mph.

Farquhar and Winfield also have previous form in the Classic Superbike category, the combination having won the corresponding race at the Manx GP in 2009 and 2011.

Team owner Roger Winfield said: “We led the 500cc Race twice with two different riders last year but came away from the event empty handed.

“You need a lot of luck to be successful around the Mountain Circuit and we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure we can be successful in both the 500cc and Formula 1 Races.

“It’s been a successful season for the team so far this year and a good Classic TT would be the icing on the cake.

“We have three of the best riders around including the TT’s outright lap record holder and we believe we have motorcycles as good as anyone else’s, so with a good slice of luck we should be able to challenge for race wins.”