John McGuinness admitted it was “awesome” to be back on a bike at the Isle of Man TT.
Having suffered a setback in recovering from injuries that have sidelined him for 13 months, the Morecambe Missile is not in competitive action on the Mountain Course this year.
But he was given the honour of riding his Norton SG7 on a parade lap ahead of Saturday’s Superbike race which was won by Michael Dunlop.
"I'm shattered but that was just awesome,” said the 23-time TT winner.
"There were pitboards out all round the course with 'P1 + 23 wins' on.
“The Isle of Man is packed, it is so busy at all the vantage points.
"I got my head down on the Mountain Mile, I had to get it out of my system.
“I noticed I'm lacking a bit of bike fitness but the bike feels good, the V4 is very fast.”
McGuinness, now 46, crashed out of last year’s North West 200 breaking his right tibia and fibula in the process.
He had been optimistic about returning to action in 2018 after having the fixator removed from his lower leg after nine months.
As well as announcing he had signed to ride for Norton at the TT, McGuinness also struck deals to ride a Honda for Michael Dunlop in the Supersport class plus a Kawasaki Supertwin machine for Ryan Farquhar’s KMR team.
Plans were also in place for him to again ride Mugen’s electric bike in the TT Zero as he looks to close in on Joey Dunlop’s record of 26 Isle of Man TT wins.
But a setback in his recovery means Saturday’s parade lap was his first taste of action since his accident in May 2017.
“It felt so good going down Bray Hill,” McGuinness wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you for the incredible support from everybody all the way round and to all the people that made it happen.”