McGuinness completes 20th year at Isle of Man TT with 46th podium

John McGuinness celebrates coming third in the Senior TT with Michael Dunlop, centre, and Ian Hutchinson, right. Picture: Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press.

John McGuinness celebrates coming third in the Senior TT with Michael Dunlop, centre, and Ian Hutchinson, right. Picture: Stephen Davison - Pacemaker Press.

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John McGuinness completed his 20th year at the Isle of Man TT races with his 46th podium finish as he swept to third place in Friday’s Senior TT race.

The Morecambe Missile finished the festival as he had begun it on the Honda Racing Fireblade, repeating his result from the opening Superbike race six days earlier.

It was the same top three as the previous Saturday with Michael Dunlop shattering his own outright lap record to take the victory as the Hawk Racing BMW rider lapped at 133.962mph on his way to his 13th TT victory, finishing more than half a minute clear of Ian Hutchinson.

McGuinness’ team mate Conor Cummins, a home favourite, came home in sixth.

Morning mist had seen the race delayed and it wasn’t until 3.45pm that it got underway. 
When it did, a relatively sluggish first lap of 130.293mph saw the 44-year-old in an unfamiliar ninth place.

However, the second lap saw the 23-time TT winner get firmly into his stride and with a much better speed of 131.782mph he leapt up the order to fourth to put himself in contention for a podium finish.

Having been caught on the road by Hutchinson, who was running in second place, and with yet another excellent pit stop, McGuinness took over third place from Bruce Anstey on the third lap and with his fourth lap of 132.584mph being only a fraction outside his personal best, he now had a firm grip on third place.

For the final two laps, McGuinness, Hutchinson and eventual race winner Michael Dunlop were circulating on the road together and with the gaps between them on corrected time all 30 seconds, the positions stayed the same for the remainder of the race.

It all meant the resort racer crossed the line more than 50 seconds clear of fourth placed Dean Harrison to claim his second podium finish of the week.

McGuinness said: “I was a bit lazy at the start even though in my head I felt like I was going reasonably well but when I saw ‘P9’ on my first board, I was beginning to think it wasn’t going to be my day.

“Hutchy came by me earlier than what he had done in last Saturday’s Superbike race but it woke me up and certainly helped tow me through the pack.

“I managed to get a tow and learn some things off these guys about how to ride even faster round here.

“The team did two awesome pit stops again and I was able to take third half way through the race and consolidate the position from there on in.

“It’s always a relief to finish and I’m proud to be back on the podium with Michael and Ian again.

“Honda have a new Superbike coming out next year so I’ll have to come back for another go!”