John McGuinness believes this year’s Isle of Man TT field is wide open.
The Morecambe Missile is looking to add to his 23 wins on the island and move ever close to Joey Dunlop’s record of 26 but knows competition is stiffer than ever.
Last year’s three-time winnner Ian Hutchinson, Bruce Anstey, Peter Hickman, James Hillier, Gary Johnson and William and Michael Dunlop are amongst this year’s rivals for McGuinness.
The 44-year-old said: “If I get the best out of myself I won’t be far away.
“If you go down the entry list there’s me, there’s Bruce, he can win, Hickman, Hutchy, Hillier, Dunlop, Johnson, William Dunlop, it goes on and on.
“There’s at least 10-12 who can win. It’s going to be so competitive. It’ll be pretty special.”
McGuinness’ best chance of victory looks to be in the electric TT Zero race, a one-lap outing he has won in the last two years.
But despite his pride at the work done in developing new technologies with Mugen, the Morecambe Missile knows the prestige lies in other races.
McGuinness will also be action for Honda racing in the Superbike and Senior TT races, Honda-backed Jackson Racing in the Supersport races and his own Bet Victor and EMC-sponsored Superstock team.
He said: “I’ve got a team mate (with Mugen) Bruce Anstey who is freak.
“He’s 47 years old doesn’t really train. He’s a bit of man of mystery.
“You don’t really see him, he’s doesn’t go to any shows is really quiet and does his talking on the track.
“If he gets out of bed on the right side he might just hammer me on the electric bike.
“He’s that type or rider but I’ve won it the last two years and that’s probably my best chance.
“I want to win another Superbike race though. Those big six-lap races are the ones that everyone wants.
“Big speeds, hard, physical races and plenty of kudos.
“In the 600 race I’ll go and do my best. I’ve won two 600 races before and held the record so there’s no reason why we can’t do well there.”