McGuinness misses out on podium

John McGuinness in action at the Macau Grand Prix. Picture: Stephen Davison
John McGuinness in action at the Macau Grand Prix. Picture: Stephen Davison

Morecambe bike ace John McGuinness was left to ponder what might have been at the recent Macau Grand Prix when a mistake dropped him down to a seventh-placed finish.

Riding for the Jezac SMT Honda team, the Morecambe Missile had been in fine form throughout practice and qualifying and was looking good for a podium place when he overshot Lisboa Corner and slipped back from fourth to seventh at the chequered flag of the 10-lap race on Saturday, November 17.

The 19-time Isle of Man TT race winner said: “To be honest, after being fastest in free practice and then qualifying in second, I’m disappointed not to have made it on to the podium.

“I was running at the front in all of the sessions and my pace was very strong but I was keen to get by Gary Johnson and it was my own fault as I simply made a mistake and outbraked myself going into Lisboa.

“I got going again but had lost a lot of ground so just brought the bike home. I proved that I was competitive throughout the meeting though and both the bike and the team were fantastic throughout so a big thanks to them.”

A solid start to the race saw McGuinness maintain a top-four position after qualifying second and whilst team-mate Michael Rutter was beginning to edge away at the front, John found himself embroiled in a battle for second with Gary Johnson and Simon Andrews.

Fellow Brit Martin Jessopp soon joined the trio and moved into second with Andrews taking over third and as John tried to go with them, he misjudged his braking marker on the run into Lisboa Corner and had to take to the escape road.

The racing was however overshadowed by the death of popular Portuguese road racer Luis Carreira, who was killed in an accident during first qualifying.

McGuinness said: “Obviously, the whole event was overshadowed by the death of Luis and it’s a great loss to the sport and more so to all his friends and family so my thoughts and deepest condolences go out to them at this very sad time.”