Bikes: Challenging NW200 meeting for Honda Racing rider John McGuinness
Ireland, May 17th- Morecambe’s John McGuinness endured a challenging International North West 200 meeting this week as his injured wrist meant he was unable to perform at the level he wished. The Honda Racing rider struggled during the hectic, back-to-back qualifying sessions and, after opting out of Thursday evening’s races, all he had to show for his efforts on Saturday was a solitary 12th place finish.
Conditions were perfect in Northern Ireland during both Tuesday and Thursday’s qualifying sessions and John battled manfully throughout on his Superbike, Superstock and Supersport machines although the punishing, heavy braking points around the 8.9-mile course forced him to ice his right wrist between sessions. Nevertheless, he was able to qualify comfortably inside the top 15 in all three classes, ninth in the Supersport class on the Valvoline Racing/Padgetts Honda the best result.
However, he opted out of Thursday evening’s Superstock and Supersport races to rest the wrist in preparation for Saturday’s feature race day but the weather added further problems as the North coast was hit by frequent showers. He was forced to pull out of both the Superbike races but he dug deep in the second Supersport race to cross the line in 12th place.
With practice for the TT getting underway in less than ten day’s time, John will now be working hard on his fitness with intense physio planned as he looks to give himself the best possible chance of success on the Isle of Man.
John McGuinness: “It’s been a really tough few days and nothing like how I’d hoped. I knew it was going to be a big ask to run at the sharp end straightaway but I just wasn’t able to push as hard as I’d have liked and the situation’s worse here due to all the heavy braking points around the course. I’ve had a long time out of the saddle and the back-to-back practice sessions took their toll, which was why I decided to sit Thursday evening out to allow the wrist to recover in time for Saturday.”
“Race conditions on Saturday weren’t good for anyone with the circuit varying in how wet it was and it proved to be a really tough day. All I can do is put it behind me and focus all my efforts on getting in the best possible shape for the TT. It’s my main event of the year and I want to put on the best possible show I can so, rest assured, I’ll be working hard this next week and making sure I get plenty of physio to allow me to push hard throughout the fortnight.”
John’s first practice session for the Isle of Man TT is scheduled to be Monday 26th May