John McGuinness rounded out his 2013 road racing season at the Macau Grand Prix on Saturday but there was no fairytale ending for the Honda TT Legends rider as he had to settle for fourth place at the end of the demanding 15-lap race.
The Morecambe flyer was looking to add a second win to his 2001 victory around the 3.8-mile Armco-lined course and the week started promisingly with a provisional second place after the opening qualifying session on Thursday.
Conditions on Friday morning for the final 45-minute session were slightly cooler and although Ian Hutchinson overhauled both McGuinness and Michael Rutter to claim pole position, the Isle of Man TT Legend’s time of 2m27.447s saw him line up in third and on the front row of the grid.
A strong start saw McGuinness slot into third place behind Gary Johnson and Rutter on the long run down to Lisboa Corner but by the end of the lap, he’d been pushed back to fourth by Hutchinson with two seconds covering the quartet.
However, the front three soon began to pull away and by lap six, the Morecambe Missile found himself more than 10 seconds adrift and coming under extreme pressure from Jimmy Storrar.
Indeed, the Scotsman pushed McGuinness back to fifth place soon after and the TT Legend had to call upon all his experience to fight his way back.
He did exactly that though and regained fourth on the 11th lap and with the race being stopped early two laps later due to Dean Harrison’s crashed bike lying in the middle of the track, that was his end result.
McGuinness said: “2001 is a long time ago and I’d have loved nothing more than another win here but I’ve put my heart and soul in and gone round as hard as I could all weekend.
“I got a great start and slotted into third going into Lisboa but before I knew it, Hutchy had gone by and the front three boys were four seconds down the road.
“Their pace in the first couple of laps was incredibly strong and try as I might, the gap kept creeping up.
“The bike’s been good, the team’s been good and we’ve all enjoyed ourselves, I just couldn’t really have done any more.”