TT hero couldn’t stay away. Here’s his take on an intense week of racing
Imight not have been on the grid this year for the first time since 1996, but there’s no chance I was going to miss the TT. I started spectating here in 1982 and haven’t missed a year since. This is the biggest motorbike show in the world and it seems to have been really disjointed this year. The weather has kicked it in the b******s left right and centre and to get the races in that they did in the end, they’ve done a good job. When the windows of opportunity were there, they took them!
It’s been weird for me; I’ve said it a million times. Watching a race is bizarre. Part of me is sitting here thinking ‘I’ve had my time, maybe it’s time to pack it in’ then I’m watching the race and putting myself in their shoes, looking at the sectors. I know what they are going through. I’m reading the pit boards.
‘I’m sure I could have won’
I was a bit miffed about the first Superbike race as I’m sure I could have won it on the old bike! It can be frustrating, I was at home thinking ‘ooh, they’ve had no practice. I’d be rubbing my hands together if I was on the old bike as I know the place inside out!’ It is what it is, but yeah it’s highly frustrating. And anyway, you can’t say ‘I would have won’ as I know all too well. In 2004 I had a massive lead in the Senior and broke my clutch on the way out of the pits, I’ve made some balls-ups around here over the years.
I wish I was out there, but I wasn’t and that’s the long and short of it. I’ve got to get myself fit and then make a decision on whether I’ll go back.
Despite the weather, the races have been brilliant. They always are. Michael Dunlop grabbed it by the scruff of the neck in the Senior. Fair play to the bloke, big thing to achieve that on a new bike. As we’ve shown, a new bike doesn’t always work out how you want it to. They had a new bike and it did work out. It could have gone either way! He’s a determined b***er, he stamped his authority after the restart and didn’t look back even though in the first start it looked like Hicky and Hutchy had the measure of him.
‘Gutted for Hutchy’
I’m absolutely gutted for Hutchy. He’s gone down and he’s injured, but we don’t know just how bad the break to his leg is yet. He’s already come back from bad injuries, and for him to do that and do what he’s done these last few years, it seems really tough that he’s got to go through the mill again.
What a week for Peter Hickman! He’s got the right attitude for road racing. He reminds me a bit of David Jefferies in the way that he’s dead chilled, so relaxed on the start-line and doesn’t put himself under too much pressure. Although I bet after having taken five podiums and not winning one he’s a bit frustrated now! He’s a class act.
Josh Brookes had a fantastic ride on the Norton. He just got better and better and better and I think if he’d had the practice week he’d have been a little bit closer. To lap at 130.8mph on the last lap is really strong. I was at Ago’s Leap and he was the quickest through there, really good.
‘ It’s the young lads’
Dean Harrison is a good young kid. Tim Reeves was saying all three riders in the winners’ enclosure were 30 or under, it’s got to have been a while since that happened with me and Bruce knocking about adding the total age up to 200! It’s good to see the young lads are coming.
I think a really key thing is that all of the riders who have done well this week have been riding a lot, doing BSB and things like that. They’ve put the work in and that’s what it takes.
‘I wish I was out there, but I wasn’t and that’s the long and short of it. I’ve got to get myself fit’
Mcguinness watches from the sidelines with Becky and son Ewan