Morecambe’s John McGuinness ensured his 2014 Isle of Man TT campaign ended in fine style on Friday afternoon with a strong sixth place in the six-lap Senior race.
Having completed the final practice session on Thursday afternoon, the 21-times TT winner made the decision to contest the final race of the festival, and the Honda Racing rider was competitive from the start, an opening lap of 129.367mph immediately placing him inside the top six.
Despite quickening his pace second time around, McGuinness was pushed back to eighth in what was proving to be a highly competitive race but, as everyone has become accustomed to, the pit crew refuelled him and changed the rear tyre in double quick time and by half race distance, he was back up to sixth.
Circulating on the road with eventual race winner Michael Dunlop, Guy Martin and James Hillier, the quartet did the entire fourth lap in each other’s company and, on the sixth and final lap, a fourth 129mph plus lap ensured the Morecambe Missile held onto his sixth place and won yet another silver replica despite battling injury thoughout the week.
McGuinness said: “I’m happy with today’s result and it’s nice to end the week with a good, strong performance on the Superbike.
“It was always going to be tough and by the middle of race week, it was getting harder and harder, race after race.
“Opting out of Wednesday’s Supersport race gave me that little bit of rest I needed and it made a big difference so I set off in a good frame of mind today.
“It took the boys a bit longer than last Saturday to catch me and when they came by, I just thought ‘I want to stay with them at all costs’.
“As always, the boys did a great job at both pit stops and we got through the Sulby speed trap at 193mph, which isn’t hanging around for an old boy.
“Considering everything that’s happened, we’ve achieved a lot of things here on the island and to finish inside the top six in both the Superbike and Senior is no disgrace.
“If I was 100 per cent fit, I’m sure I could have given the boys a run for their money as I’ve done the speeds before and there’s no reason why I can’t do them again.
“The atmosphere today was great and the fans were waving me the whole way – at least I think they were, they might have been giving me V-signs!
“I really enjoyed the last lap and popped a couple of wheelies coming out of the Creg and along the start and finish so we ended on a good note.
“Even to start the race was like a win, given I was flat out on the rocks two months ago so a big thank you to everyone for their support.”