2011 Isle of Man TT
It is “job done” for TT legend John McGuinness as he makes the most of track time in preparation for the 2011 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy.
The Morecambe racer said the main objective of contesting the opening three rounds of the British National Superstock 1000 Championship was to get plenty of time on track ahead of the TT.
Speaking after his latest British short circuit outing at Croft, where he finished 9th, McGuinness said it was “job done.”
John McGuinness (Padgetts Honda) says: “The main objective from these first three rounds was to get plenty of track time in preparation for the TT and in that regard, it’s most definitely been a case of ‘job done’.
“I’m a racer first and foremost though, so each weekend has been about doing the best I possibly can and I feel that I’ve ridden really well in these first three rounds and been sharp throughout, so that puts me in a really good frame of mind.”
Riding for Padgetts Honda, he was on the pace throughout practice and qualifying and put in a good race performance to add seven more points to his tally and move into 7th in the championship table.
McGuinness was second in Friday’s wet free practice session and that good form carried over to the dry when a lap of 1m24.524s saw him take the fourth fastest time in opening qualifying. Hopes were high for improving on that in final qualifying, but with 42 riders on the 2.12-mile circuit, finding clear track was a tough task and each time he was on a quick lap he was held up by traffic.
Unable to improve on Friday’s time, he found himself pushed back to 10th on the grid.
In Sunday’s race, McGuinness had a brilliant start to move up to 6th place on the opening lap – only to undo his good work by running wide at the final hairpin and drop down the order.
He regrouped and was soon battling hard with the group dicing for 6th place. Positions six to 10 changed hands regularly and a strong ride saw McGuinness rewarded with 9th place at the end of the 12 laps for his third consecutive top 10 finish.
John McGuiness says: “I got a mint start only to make a mistake at the hairpin, but I regrouped, dug deep and to be battling it out for a top six finish again was very pleasing.
“It got a bit scrappy towards the end as a couple of the boys made late charges through the pack and I’ve got some very important races coming up what with the 8 hours at Albacete and the TT so I kept my nose clean and brought the bike home for a good finish.
“The Padgetts boys have again given me a mega bike and I’m happy with another top ten 10 finish so I can head into the next couple of weeks in a really confident mood.”
As many of his TT rivals ride at the North West 200, McGuinness will be out with the Honda TT Legends team at the next round of the World Endurance Championship, the 8 Hours of Albacete in Spain this weekend. Once again the Honda line-up will see McGuinness ride alongside Keith Amor and Steve Plater.