John McGuinness believes he has more competition than ever at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
The Morecambe Missile is looking to add to his 21 wins on the island but knows the 2015 field is wide open.
The road race great, whose racing gets underway with the first Superbike race on Saturday, said: “There’s people with points to prove, there’s people who’ve changed manufacturers.
“Michael Dunlop will push and push, Guy Martin has switched to the race winning bikes having not won one yet.
“Hutch (Ian Hutchinson) is back from his leg injury, Gaz Johnson’s fast, my team mate Connor Cummins was second last year, he’s knocking on the door and is fit and strong.
“I haven’t really got one rival there’s half a dozen.
“I don’t think you can predict who’s going to win. What it is, is wide open.
“Obviously the fastest man is going to win on the day but he’s going to have to go some to win it.”
After an injury-hit 2014 you could argue McGuinness is an outsider in the elite group.
But having won the 2013 Senior TT, the festival’s blue riband finale, the Honda rider is targeting at least one victory.
“I’d like to win one,” said the 43-year-old.
“I just think of where I left off in the 2013 Senior.
“I won the race and broke the race record and then I broke my wrist. My fitness level is back where I was in 2013 which is the fastest guy round there over six laps.
“If I can find that form again there’s no reason why we can’t run at the front. I’d be disappointed if I didn’t win one.
“But if I finish second or third and I’m six or seven seconds behind the win and I’ve had a good strong TT I’ll be happy as long as I get the best out of myself. I just want to be strong, competitive, fast and safe with some good weather. And then it would be great to win one or two or three but it’s going to be tough.”
McGuinness will also lead the field out as the number one bike and he is well aware that many consider him the man to beat. “I look down the entry list and you’ve got me, (James) Hillier, Dunlop, (Michael) Rutter, (Bruce) Anstey, the other Dunlop, Gary Johnson,” he said.
“All these are winners. All these have been over 130mph.
“I’ve got the target on my back, I’m number one.”