Top of the Mountain

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MORECAMBE’S John McGuinness showed his undoubted class around the Isle of Man Mountain Course on Friday evening when he won the blue riband Senior TT race, his 17th victory on the island.

It was his second victory of the week, following his triumph in the opening event of the festival, last Saturday’s Dainese Superbike race.

The victory moves the “Morecambe Missile” one win closer to the late great Joey Dunlop’s TT record of 26 wins.

In between his two wins, McGuinness picked up two further podiums, coming second in both last Monday ’s Superstock race and Thursday’s Supersport TT, meaning he now has 33 TT podiums.

As a result he was the comfortbale winner of this year’s TT championship, taking the Joey Dunlop Trophy by 31 points.

Work

After the victory, John said: “I can’t remember being pushed that hard in a Superbike race here for some time and I certainly had to work for it.

“I didn’t have the greatest of practice laps on Thursday as I picked up a rear wheel puncture so it took me a lap or so to get dialled in to today’s race.

“I made the odd mistake here and there and went wide on a couple of occasions but by lap two I was beginning to get in the groove a bit which was a good job as I was quite a way adrift and really had to dig deep.

“The first pit stop was mega and I pushed really hard on laps three and four and that was where I won the race.”

The Honda TT Legends rider found himself seven seconds in arrears at the end of the first lap of Friday’s race but he hunted race leader Guy Martin down, and with two stunning laps on laps three and four, was able to go some 15 seconds clear and eventually came home for the win.

With the race delayed by five hours due to wet weather, the “Morecambe Missile” was in fourth position as they swept through Glen Helen for the first time and although he clawed his way back up to third at the end of the lap he was still seven seconds behind the pace-setting Guy Martin.

However, being the quickest rider on the second lap allowed him to eat into Martin’s advantage and a superb first pit stop saw him draw level with Martin at Glen Helen on lap three.

By the end of the lap, he’d gone into the lead for the first time and with a brilliant lap of 131.248mph, the fastest of the race, he was 12 seconds clear of Bruce Anstey by the completion of lap four.

McGuinness controlled the lead for the remainder of the race, eventually crossing the line just over seven seconds ahead of second-placed Martin.

Like on Friday, Thursday’s Supersport TT was postponed, only getting underway at 12.15pm after the initial race was red flagged due to rain on Wednesday,

On the Padgetts Honda for the final time of the week, John held second for the majority of the race and although he was pushed back to third on lap three, he took second place at the chequered flag after a thrilling final lap ended when Cameron Donald retired within two miles of the finish.

John said: “To win my second Superbike race this week is superb and things couldn’t really have gone any better for me.

“I’m really enjoying my riding at the minute and I don’t think I’ve ever ridden better.

“I’m dead, dead proud of what I’ve achieved this week.”