McGuinness equals Dunlop podium record at Isle of Man TT

John McGuinness, right, on the podium following Monday's Superstock race with winner Michael Dunlop, centre, and second-placed Gary Johnson, left.

John McGuinness, right, on the podium following Monday's Superstock race with winner Michael Dunlop, centre, and second-placed Gary Johnson, left.

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John McGuinness has equaled the record for number of podium finishes at the Isle of Man TT.

Two more top-three finishes at the festival on Wednesday took his total to 40, matching the mark set by the late, great Joey Dunlop.

The Morecambe Missile, who has 19 race wins on the island to Dunlop’s 26, was second in the morning’s TT Zero on electric bikes and third in the afternoon’s second Supersport race of the week.

The iconic festival has been dominated by Michael Dunlop, who has produced several stunning displays in four race wins, becoming only the third rider to achieve the feat.

McGuinness said: “Although I might not have won one yet, I’m having a great week.

“To equal Joey’s record number of podiums is something special too and I’m very proud of that feat.”

Michael Rutter took the win in the TT Zero, breaking the previous clean emissions lap record that he set last year.

McGuinness was not far behind Rutter, lapping with a time of 20:40.13 (109.527mph) on his Mugen machine, compared to Rutter’s 20:38.46 (109.675mph).

The Morecambe Ace said: “I was really disappointed after the Zero race as I rode my heart out and to lose by such a small margin was tough to take. “Michael must have had a different strategy as I could see him on the Cronk y Voddy and again going up the Mountain but then he just disappeared.

“No-one could have ridden harder around the corners as what I did so if we’d have been on the same bikes I think it would have been a different story.

“It’s fair to say I was gutted. The Mugen team did an awesome job and it was a tough one to take.”

Putting his disappointment to one side, McGuinness was back in action less than an hour later on the 600cc HM Plant Padgetts Honda for the second four-lap Supersport race and a strong opening lap of 124.768mph put the Morecambe man into fourth place, 8.3 seconds behind third-placed rider William Dunlop.

For the rest of the race though, McGuinness continued to eat into Dunlop’s advantage and heading into the final lap, he’d edged half a second ahead. Lapping quicker than ever before on a Supersport machine, the TT legend’s final lap of 127.210mph secured him the final podium position by just 0.972s after 150 miles of high-speed racing.

He said: “I had to pick my lip up for the Supersport race and, in what’s becoming a recurring theme this week, I have never ridden harder.

“I knew the gap between William and myself was next to nothing so I pushed and pushed as I was desperate for that final podium spot.

“I had a big slide at Cronk ny Mona and my feet were off the pegs so I was pushing the bike hard but the pace was incredible right from the off.

“It was wheel to wheel stuff again and another great race to be part of.”

Racing finishes on Friday, with the blue riband six-lap Senior TT where McGuinness will be back out on the Honda TT Legends Superbike.