TT hero couldn’t stay away. Here’s his take on an in­tense week of rac­ing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By John Mcguin­ness 23-TIME TT WIN­NER

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

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