Top six finish for McGuinness

John McGuinness in action at Knockhill. Picture: Tim Keeton - Impact Images
John McGuinness in action at Knockhill. Picture: Tim Keeton - Impact Images

JOHN McGuinness continued his excellent run of form with a fine ride into sixth place at the latest round of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship.

Competing at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland, the Padgetts Honda ace was extremely competitive throughout the weekend to earn his best result on the short circuits so far this year.

Fresh from his success at the Isle of Man TT at the beginning of the month, the Morecambe Missile arrived in confident mood and set the ninth fastest time in the opening qualifying session on Friday.

With good conditions at the 1.27-mile circuit for Sunday’s race, a great start by McGuinness saw him immediately jump up the order and he completed the first lap in a strong seventh.

He stayed here for the first third of the race but lost time when he had a nasty slide at the hairpin, which left him three seconds adrift of the leading group.

When Jason O’Halloran crashed out on lap nine, the Morecambe man was promoted up the order to sixth and completed the race to take 10 well-earned championship points.

McGuinness said: “I’m well pleased with today’s result and after two hard weeks of racing at the TT, this weekend has required a totally different mindset but one which I’ve been able to immediately get dialled back into.

“Short circuit racing is all stop, start and cut and thrust and with a good start and some aggressive early laps, I was able to move up the order and run at a pace very close to that of the leaders.

“I settled down into a good rhythm only to have a slight moment at the hairpin and that was all it took to lose the tow to the leading pack.

“After that, I was literally on my own and riding to my pit boards so all I needed was a few trees, walls and bumpy roads to make it like the TT.

“I qualified ninth and finished in sixth so have got to be happy with that and equally pleasing was the fact that I was competitive in both the wet and dry.

“It was a lonely ride on one hand but also very enjoyable on the other and, like I say, to be running a pace similar to that of the championship contenders shows I’m riding as well as ever.

“I always enjoy riding the bike and always enjoy riding for Clive and his team so to get a top-six finish has made it a great weekend for all of us.”

McGuinness now makes his annual visit to the Goodwood Festival of Sport where he will be joined by many of the world’s leading motorsport stars, both past and present. The event takes place this weekend, June 30 and July 1.