MCGUINNESS GOES FROM ZERO TO HERO
TT legend John Mcguinness went from zero to hero at last week’s Classic TT after suffering his first ever crash on the Mountain course after 20 years of competition. The 23 times TT winner slid off the Winfield Paton at Quarterbridge during Friday evening’s final practice session but less than 24 hours later the Morecambe man bounced back to win the 500cc race and set a new lap record.
“I’ve ridden bikes for 26 years and you are going to throw one of them up the road eventually,” the 44-year-old said.
“The bike had brand new tyres and I thought I’d be alright but sometimes you don’t give the bike the respect it is due. It happened really, really quickly and the bike spun right round. Before it had stopped sliding I was on my feet and running after it.”
Mcguinness remounted and rode back to the pits through the streets of Douglas to have the bike checked before heading back out and setting the fastest 500cc practice lap of the week.
On Saturday the Morecambe rider set off at No1 and held off a strong challenge from last year’s winner, Dean Harrison, on the Black Eagle MV Agusta to take the chequered flag and claim his first Classic TT victory. Maria Costello finished third on another Paton. Mcguinness’s speed of 113.342mph on the second lap gave him a new lap record for the class, which helped to erase the memory of his embarrassing maiden TT crash.
“I’ve laid in my bed many times and thought that at some stage I am going to go up the road at some time around here and a shiver goes down your spine,” Mcguinness said.
“In a weird way I am happy that I have got past that now and that it was at Quarterbridge, one of the slowest corners on the course. I’ve got away with it with nothing more than a dent in the arse and my pride. All I wanted to do was get back out on the bike and taking the win was the icing on the cake.”
‘I got away with a dent in the arse and a dent in my pride’
20 years of crash-free TT racing and Mcpint slides off a classic in practice