MCGUINNESS MARKS TWO DECADES
TT hero John Mcguinness celebrated his 20th year at the Scarborough Gold Cup at the weekend.
“There have been plenty of highlights during those two decades,” the 44-year-old recalled. “One of the best was my first meeting in 1996 when Joey Dunlop lent me the clutch out of his 250cc Honda after I burnt mine out. He just leaned his bike over on its side and whipped the clutch out and I went on to finish on the podium!”
Mcguinness won the feature race on a 500cc Honda twin in 1999, beating best mate David Jefferies to the chequered flag.
“DJ was winning everything at the time,” the Morecambe man recalled between races on Sunday. “He was getting one over on me all the time but I did him in that Gold Cup race in 1999. It was held over two legs and he beat me in the first one but I beat him by enough in the second race to get the overall win which was mega on a little 500 two-stroke.
“I’ve ridden all sorts of bikes around here, 125s, 250s, 500s, superbikes, all sorts of interesting stuff.”
The unique nature of the steep 2.4mile Oliver’s Mount circuit is one of the biggest attractions for Mcguinness.
“Scarborough is like a short circuit with trees around it,” he explained.
“It’s not really a road, it’s more a park. It’s quite smooth as far as a road is concerned though. I don’t know if it’s because it’s up north, if it’s the history of the place or if it’s because I came here as a kid to watch Barry Sheene, but I have a real affinity with it.”
Although Mcguinness was racing in anger on Sunday on his own Bet Victor-backed Superstock-spec Honda CBR1000RR, he was one of a host of former Gold Cup stars taking part in the anniversary celebrations. 15 times world champ Giacomo Agostini led the list, joining Phil Read, Jim Redman, Mick Grant, Steve Parrish, Chas Mortimer, Nick Jefferies and Guy Martin for several emotive laps of the Yorkshire circuit.
‘Scarborough is like a short circuit with trees around it’ JOHN MCGUINNESS
Mcguinness: still going strong after 20 years