McGuinness comes home eighth in opening North West 200 race

John McGuinness is action during superbike qualifying at the North West 200.
John McGuinness is action during superbike qualifying at the North West 200.
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John McGuinness finished eighth in his opening race at this year’s North West 200.

The Morecambe Missile was in action for Jackson Racing in Thursday night’s first Supersport race in Northern Ireland.

Alastair Seeley won for a record-breaking 16th time around six laps of the 8.970-mile course that forms a triangle between the coastal towns of Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart.

Ian Hutchinson and Martin Jessopp came home in second and third.

Earlier in the day McGuinness, who has six North West 200 wins to his name, had qualified fifth with a second Supersport race to come on Saturday.

The resort’s Isle of Man TT great will also be in action in two Superbike races for Honda Racing having secured eighth position on the grid.

The 44-year-old was running third in Superbike qualifying at one point but halfway through the session McGuinness made an unscheduled stop as his machine was overheating, which after inspection was caused by a large stone hitting the radiator.

A quick turnaround saw the machine repaired, but the session was red flagged and stopped due to an incident on the circuit meaning the McGuinness had to settle for eighth.

On Superbike qualifying, he said: “Halfway round I collected a massive hole in the radiator from a stone hit.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before, but these Superbikes have over 200bhp, so tear up the road a little!

“I am a little disappointed with that as I was running third at the time, but it comes with road racing.

“Now to refocus and regroup ahead of the races on Saturday.”