McGuinness fails to finish

John McGuinness at Silverstone. Picture: Glynne Lewis.
John McGuinness at Silverstone. Picture: Glynne Lewis.

Morecambe’s John McGuinness was back in action at the weekend, competing at Silverstone in the penultimate round of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship.

However, the Padgetts Honda rider found himself out of luck, retiring on the second last lap.

Having missed the corresponding meeting 12 months ago, John found himself at an immediate disadvantage to his rivals as he got dialled back into the famous Grand Prix circuit but he constantly reduced his lap times with each and every lap and, shaving a further half second off his time in the final qualifying session, he was able to move up to 19th for a fifth row start.

Such was the closeness of the times, another half second would have got him inside the top 10.

A solid start saw John consolidate his position and, after the safety car was deployed for three laps whilst debris was cleared from the circuit, he immediately jumped up to 16th when racing resumed on lap four.

For the next six laps, John was part of a five-man battle for 13th with positions changing all the time but, on the 10th of 11 laps, John ran onto the grass having missed his braking point such was the ferocity of the racing.

With too much time being lost as he rejoined the circuit, all hopes of points had gone and he pulled into the pits to retire.

Speaking afterwards, John said: “It’s been a frustrating weekend and the pace has been red hot so it’s been heavy going at times.

“I missed last year’s meeting as I was away on World Endurance Championship duty so we were starting from scratch with set-up, and that’s never an easy thing to do when all your competitors hit the ground running.

“I rode as hard as I could in qualifying, hitting all my apexes and braking points perfectly so felt a bit deflated to only qualify 19th.

“The front runners were setting times which would have got them in the top 20 in the Superbike class so it really was a ferocious pace.”

“At the same time though, I felt confident that with a good start I’d get inside the points and that’s pretty much how the race panned out.

“Thirteenth’s not where I want to be but given the standard of competition, it would have been a hard fought finish but, the group I was battling with were carving each up everywhere.

“Passes were taking place that I didn’t think were possible and on the last lap I ended up missing my braking point and ran straight on.

“By the time I’d rejoined, I’d lost too much time so it was a real shame that my race ended like that, not just for me but for all the boys in the team who worked extremely hard once more all weekend.”