Isle of Man TT great John McGuinness had another good weekend on the short circuits, with a fighting eighth place at the Brands Hatch round of the National 1000cc Superstock Championship.
The 15-times TT winner had been locked in a battle for fifth, but a stone punctured his radiator and forced him to back off in the closing stages of Sunday’s race.
His eighth place means the Padgetts Honda star has moved back up to seventh in the championship.
Free practice and qualifying showed McGuinness was enjoying himself around the Brands GP circuit and, after placing a steady 13th in Friday’s free practice session, he went almost one and a half seconds quicker in the first qualifying session, a time of 1m 29.708s placing him in sixth place.
On Saturday the track was still damp in places for the final qualifying session and, with lap times over two seconds slower than the previous day, the status quo remained at the head of the field and so John duly qualified in sixth place and on the second row of the grid.
The 15-lap race was incident-packed. McGuinness completed the first lap in eighth, but he had to wait a few laps before challenging further as the safety car was deployed due to an incident.
When it pulled in, McGuinness was soon into his rhythm and by lap six he was up to seventh, which became sixth a lap later. Kenny Gilbertson, Bryan Staring, James Hillier and McGuinness were having a great battle for fifth place, but on lap seven Barry Burrell and Victor Cox crashed and sent a substantial amount of gravel onto the circuit, some of which got flicked up and hit McGuinness’s radiator. For the second half of the race, he was forced to ease his pace slightly and had to let the other three riders go as he looked secure in seventh.
However, on the final lap Tristan Palmer found a way by and McGuinness had to settle for eighth.
John McGuinness says: "I’m pleased with eighth, but disappointed it couldn’t have been a top six finish today. I was pleased with my start, but had my feet off the pegs through the first corner and got bashed around a bit so had to regroup and after that, I started to enjoy myself and had a great dice with Bryan, Kenny and James but when the two boys went down there was gravel everywhere and one of the stones got flicked up and put a hole in the radiator."
"There was water everywhere and I just wasn’t sure if there was any on the front tire or rear tire so had to back off a little bit. The temperature started going up too so I just eased off the revs a bit and brought the bike home."
"I didn’t want to throw it down the road and thought I was secure in seventh only to get pipped on the last lap by Tristan Palmer, but there wasn’t much I could do. It was just one of those things, but, like I say, I enjoyed the race and was happy with my riding so it’s nice to be back at the sharp end and running with the group of riders that I feel I should be running with. We’ve got Cadwell next, another of my favorite circuits, so I’ll be looking for more of the same there."