Morecambe Missile’s return to TT racing halted after one lap

John McGuinness.
John McGuinness.

John McGuinness made a low-key return to the Isle of Man TT in a race which was to be hit by tragedy.

A serious injury had forced McGuinness to miss the 2017 and 2018 races but he was back on the circuit on Monday in the RST Superbike TT event.

However, his race came to an end after one lap because of engine problems.

McGuinness pulled into the pits and mechanics were to diagnose the problem as low oil pressure.

But the race was halted just beyond the halfway mark after a fatal accident.

Daley Mathison, from Stockton-on-Tees, crashed at Snugborough, near Union Mills, on the third lap.

Mathison, 27, was making his 19th TT start and had enjoyed three podium finishes.

After the red flag, Peter Hickman took the honours.

The standings at the end of the second lap were used to determine the result and that saw Hickman awarded his third TT victory.

Dean Harrison had set the pace , with Hickman also off to a quick start.

In tough conditions, Harrison held his lead through the Bungalow with a 1.556 second lead over Hickman.

On the run from Glen Helem to Ballaugh Bridge on the west of the course, Harrison extended his lead over Hickman.

However, Hickman took control on the climb from Ramsey and held the lead through to Ballaugh.

The race was red-flagged following Mathison’s crash at Snugborough and Hickman declared the winner.

While McGuinness’ return was to end early, it would have been a relief for him to be out racing again.

In May 2017 he crashed in practice at the North West 200, damaging his spine, ribs and breaking a leg severely.

It was feared that he would not get back on a bike, let alone race again.

But at last year’s TT he was able to ride in two parade laps which gave him the feel for the course again.

Ahead of Monday’s race, the 47-year-old admitted to plenty of nerves.

And ultimately it was the mechanical issues which halted his involvement after the single lap rather than any error on his part.

Tuesday’s racing had to be cancelled due to rain on the island which made the course dangerous and led to poor visibility.