John McGuinness to return to action at Classic TT

John McGuinness will make his return to racing at the Classic TT next month
John McGuinness will make his return to racing at the Classic TT next month

John McGuinness will make his long-awaited return to racing next month.

The Morecambe Missile, a 23-time Isle of Man TT winner, will be back on the Mountain Course having confirmed his entry for this year’s Classic TT.

The 46-year-old had been scheduled to make a comeback at this year’s TT last month only to suffer a setback in his recovery from the injuries he sustained at the North West 200 in May 2017.

He did get a taste of the action when riding two parade laps on the SG7 Norton but it will on the 500cc Team Winfield Paton in the four-lap Bennetts Senior Classic TT race on Saturday, August 25 when he makes his return to racing.

“It’s been a hard road back from the North West 200 crash and I thought we were there heading into the TT but another setback just left us a few weeks short,” said McGuinness.

“I absolutely loved doing the two parade laps this year and the reaction I got from the fans was amazing.

“The next big target for me was always the Classic TT and everything is going in to being fully fit and prepared for a proper return to racing.

“I’m buzzing about the whole thing really.

“I love the Classic TT atmosphere and I really enjoy working with Roger Winfield and his team and their Paton is a joy to ride around the Mountain Circuit.

“I’m not going to make any predictions on how competitive we are going to be, but when I rode the Norton at the TT, the feeling was good and, above all else, I just want to be out there with the rest of the guys again, going as fast as we can and putting on a good show for the fans.

“If we get a result out of it then that will be a bonus on this occasion.”

McGuinness will be lining up on the same 500cc Paton that he rode at the Classic TT between 2013 and 2016.

Technical issues held the Morecambe Missile back in his first two attempts with the team but they made amends in 2016 when he ran out a clear winner.

Indeed, having overhauled early leader Dean Harrison in the 2016 Senior Classic TT race, McGuinness’ fastest lap of 113.342mph saw him set a new class lap record which still stands today and his winning margin over the Bradford rider was decisively more than 20 seconds.

His road back from injury has been a long one however.

McGuinness crashed out in practice at last year’s North West 200 breaking his right tibia and fibula in the process.

He had been optimistic about returning to action at the 2018 TT after having the fixator removed from his lower leg after nine months.

But a problem in the recovery from his broken leg meant that the parade laps were his first outing on a bike in 13 months.