McGuinness denied Gold Cup glory

John McGuinness (1000cc HM Plant Padgetts Honda) takes an early lead in the International Gold Cup race at Scarborough.
John McGuinness (1000cc HM Plant Padgetts Honda) takes an early lead in the International Gold Cup race at Scarborough.

John McGuinness’ hopes of victory in the International Gold Cup at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough were dashed on Sunday when he slid off on oil on the third lap whilst leading.

The Morecambe ace was looking to get his name back on the trophy he last won in 1999 and a brilliant start to the race on the HM Plant/Padgetts Honda saw John grab the holeshot and promptly pull away from the rest of the field.

Both rider and the 1000cc Superstock machine were working in tandem perfectly and their gap over Michael Dunlop at the end of the first lap was a commanding two seconds.

The damp conditions were making it tricky for everyone but John still held a more than healthy advantage over Dunlop as they went into lap three.

However, team-mate Bruce Anstey had crashed at Mere Hairpin on the opening lap, with third placed Dean Harrison doing the same a lap later and on the third lap it was John’s turn, with oil having been dropped on the course. Fortunately, uninjured in the spill, it brought John’s race to a premature end.

Speaking afterwards, a disappointed John said; “I really wanted to get my name back on the Gold Cup and was on a bit of a mission so for the race to end like it did is hugely disappointing. I got a brilliant start and both the bike and the tyres were working superbly and whilst the track was certainly a bit slippy, I felt really comfortable.

“I had a nice gap over the rest of the field and was controlling the gap but when I exited Mere on the third lap, the rear just spun round on me and before I knew it, I was on my backside looking back down the track as the other riders came round the corner!

“I did nothing wrong and did exactly as I’d done the previous two laps in terms of my line and when I fed on the power and I later found out that there was a bit of oil down.

“It’s a real shame for the race to end in this fashion as I felt confident a great result was on the cards but it wasn’t meant to be.

“It wasn’t the result I was looking for but it’s always nice to come and ride at Oliver’s Mount and I’ll just have to make sure I come back next year and put things right!”

John now heads straight to Le Mans, France where he’ll link up with the Honda TT Legends team for the final round of the World Endurance Championship.