‘Road rac­ing has had a hor­ri­ble year but it will bounce back’

Our man re­flects on a hard year for rac­ing, but says it’ll bounce back

MCN - - CONTENTS - MCN COLUM­NIST JOHN McGUINNESS

It’s been a tough year for road rac­ing, but it will bounce back. It al­ways does. It’s been in this sit­u­a­tion be­fore. I can re­mem­ber back in the 1980s when some peo­ple were call­ing road rac­ing too dan­ger­ous, say­ing the bikes were get­ting too fast.

Phil Read crit­i­cised it, Agos­tini crit­i­cised it and the TT stopped be­ing a world cham­pi­onship race, but it’s still go­ing. When David Jef­feries got killed in 2003 the TT was get­ting a kick­ing, but peo­ple on the out­side just don’t un­der­stand road rac­ing.

‘WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE ARE DO­ING AND THE CON­SE­QUENCES’

At the minute road rac­ing can’t get much big­ger than it is, it’s huge. The lap times, the rac­ing, the cov­er­age; every­body still wants to go.

The ac­tual rac­ing this year was fan­tas­tic, the North West was in­cred­i­ble, the TT was ab­so­lutely in­sane. Dean Har­ri­son and Peter Hick­man were sub­lime. I’m in awe and gob­s­macked at what those boys did this year, es­pe­cially Hick­man on the last lap of the Se­nior. If you’ve not been in that po­si­tion be­fore, you will never ever un­der­stand it. What we saw from Hick­man was his­toric, a huge mile­stone. Of course, road rac­ing has its ups and downs, highs and lows. This year has been tough, it just seemed to be one thing af­ter an­other. So many kicks in the b ***** ks, all good lads, all good peo­ple who I have raced with wheel-to-wheel. No­body de­serves to get hurt or worse but we all know what we are do­ing and we know what the con­se­quences can be.

I know how it works. I’ve lost mates over the years. We are self­ish p***ks, we get our hel­mets back on and get go­ing again. I’d sooner leave a legacy be­hind and a few quid for my kids than be a mis­er­able f***er!

McGuinness lines up with William Dun­lop at the 2017 North West 200

William Dun­lop was killed at Sk­er­ries this year at the age of just 32

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