TT hero hum­bled by sup­port from sports stars, but says he’s not done yet

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Stephen Dav­i­son ROAD RAC­ING REPORTER

“I am just a brickie from More­cambe who can ride a bike fast now and again,” that was the hum­ble open­ing line of John Mcguin­ness’ ac­cep­tance speech as he re­ceived the pres­ti­gious Se­grave tro­phy in Lon­don a fort­night ago.

It is a rare event for bik­ers to be feted in the plush Pall Mall bas­tion of the RAC Club but as “the great­est liv­ing ex­po­nent of the TT” the 23-time TT win­ner was a wor­thy re­cip­i­ent of the hon­our.

“When I was first told about the award I was flat-out test­ing and I stuck it in the di­ary, but then I had a bit of a study and thought, wow, this is spe­cial,” the 43-year-old said.

“It started in 1930 and the first win­ners were pi­o­neer­ing guys, push­ing the en­ve­lope. The first guy to win flew across the At­lantic, and the win­ner’s list is full of Com­modore this and Com­man­der that. Can you imag­ine those boys in their day? Fag on the go, jump­ing into a plane not know­ing what was at the end of it.”

Few would di sagree that Mcguin­ness has achieved more than enough in his 25-year rac­ing ca­reer to join the ranks of fel­low biking greats like Ge­off Duke, Peter Collins, Barry Sheene, Mike Hail­wood, Steve Web­ster, Carl Fog­a­rty, Joey Dun­lop and John Sur­tees who are pre­vi­ous Se­grave win­ners.

“Stir­ling Moss (a dou­ble win­ner) is here to­day and I got a lovely email from Mur­ray Walker,” an ob­vi­ously chuffed Mcguin­ness smiled.

“There were great mes­sages from Martin Brun­dle and Mark Web­ber and I even got a text from Rossi. It is nice that every­body likes me, apart from the wife!”

Awards like these are of­ten handed out at the end of long and dis­tin­guished ca­reers but re­tire­ment re­mains the fur­thest thing from the More­cambe Mis­sile’s mind.

“It’s rock n’roll at the moment, the job’s on fire,” he grinned. “I hon­estly thought I’d be well re­tired by my age be­cause when I was 21 fly­ing around on my Yamaha TZ I’d be look­ing at a 43-year-old and think­ing what an old bas­tard he is. Now I’m that old bas­tard!”

There is an ob­vi­ous aura of con­fi­dence around the Honda star these days and when he is asked if this lat­est award should be re­garded as a foot­note to last year’s re­mark­able per­for­mance or a primer for some­thing spe­cial still to come the TT leg­end pulls no punches.

“I can’t see any rea­son why not,” he says qui­etly. “Yeah, Hick­man is the new show in town and there is Hutchy on the BMW, but I am just work­ing away be­hind the scenes, un­der the radar if you like, do­ing what I do. I am do­ing lots of laps, lots of miles, and I am ready.

“When that flag drops I’ll be the first bike away, and may the best man win.”

TSR Honda 250 gave MCG his first vic­tory Mcguin­ness has won a fair few tro­phies in his time but the Se­grave ti­tle is a very spe­cial hon­our Lit­tle did 27-year-old Mcguin­ness know in 1999 that he’d still be win­ning in 2015

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