TT legend John targets podium

John McGuinness
John McGuinness

JOHN McGuinness might have had a year to forget at last year’s Tourist Trophy – but the Morecambe rider insists the fire is burning brighter than ever to be back on the podium in 2011.

With 15 TT wins and 29 podiums to his name, for McGuinness not to taste the champagne at all in 2010 would have been almost unthinkable heading into the iconic event.

But a combination of an all-conquering display by rival Ian Hutchinson – the Bradford rider won all five races – and some dismal luck, McGuinness had to retire with bike problems when leading the blue ribbon race, the Senior TT, saw him leave the island empty handed.

At 39 McGuinness could have easily been excused for hanging up his leathers after the struggles of 2010 but the Morecambe rider insists his love for the 37.73 mile mountain course meant that was never an option.

McGuinness kicks off this year’s campaign with the Dainese Superbike race on Saturday – and he can’t wait.

“Ian Hutchinson’s five wins in a week last year was unbelievable,” said McGuinness. “I’m not sure that will ever be done again.

“But there’s still fire in my belly. The endurance riding I do is good for me because it is different and fresh.

“I’ve still got that spark, I’ve done a lot of training this winter.

“Even when I was over for the TT press conference in April I felt the buzz. I’ve waited for the young riders to come and lift the bar, that’s how it is in racing.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (02-06-11) for full story.