McGuinness third in Isle of Man TT superbike race

John McGuinness (1000 Honda TT Legends) leads Cameron Donald (Wilson Craig Honda) at Governor's Bridge during Sunday's Superbike TT. Picture: Simon Patterson
John McGuinness (1000 Honda TT Legends) leads Cameron Donald (Wilson Craig Honda) at Governor's Bridge during Sunday's Superbike TT. Picture: Simon Patterson

John McGuinness overcame a one-minute penalty to claim third in Sunday’s superbike race at the Isle of Man TT.

The Morecambe Missile picked up his 37th podium at the island’s festival of racing and increased his own outright lap record to 131.671mph on the final lap.

The Honda TT Legends rider - who rode complete in Joey Dunlop replica livery to commemorate 30 years since the Ulsterman won his first TT for Honda - dropped from second to fourth as a result of the penalty, issued for exceeding the 60kph pit lane speed limit, but fought his way back.

McGuinness said: “I gave it my all and couldn’t have ridden any harder in that race.

“I pushed and pushed and if it hadn’t been for some of the later runners, I think that final lap could have been 132mph but you can’t win them all.

“Speeding in pit lane was my fault so I’ll take it on the chin but to come back to third after being docked a minute is pleasing.”

The Morecambe man found himself down in fourth at the end of the opening circuit of the six-lap race.

Increasing his pace to 130.347mph on the second lap of the famous Mountain Course, McGuinness moved up to second by just half a second behind Guy Martin although he slipped further behind team mate and eventual winner Michael Dunlop.

However, with a superb pit-stop by his team, McGuinness left the pits six seconds quicker than Martin thus giving him some breathing space over his Suzuki rival and by half race distance he was 16 seconds clear.

This changed after the second round of pit stops at the end of lap four when the Missile failed to hit his pit-lane speed limiter button.

It all meant he went down pit lane at 77kph and incurred a one-minute penalty as a result dropping him back to fourth and with seemingly no chance of a podium position.

Showing his usual skill and determination though, McGuinness flew on the final two laps and from being 12 seconds down on Martin, he ended the race 6.9s clear to take the final podium spot and increase his own outright lap record, set in 2009, to a stunning 131.671mph.

He said: “Setting a new outright lap record is some sort of consolation and if I hadn’t finished on the podium with that final lap, I’d have been disappointed but third given the hiccups is pleasing.

“I felt fit and strong on that final lap and it shows that even though I’m fat and old, I’ve still got the pace to do some fast laps so, hopefully, we’ll be closer in the Senior.

“It’s been a real honour to wear the Joey Dunlop replica helmet and leathers today and I hope I’ve been able to do the Dunlop name justice.”

McGuinness will be back in action on Monday for the four-lap Supersport and Superstock races, which are due to get underway at 10.45 and 14.00 respectively.