TT 2011: McGuinness Claims TT Championship With Senior Victory

by Louis Suddaby

John McGuinness took his 17th TT victory, and with it the 2011 Championship, after winning the Pokerstars Senior race on Friday evening.

The 39-year-old overturned a seven second deficit at the end of the first lap to beat deny Guy Martin a first TT win, and set a new race record in the process.

Rain and hail in the north of the island caused a five-hour delay to the event's blue riband event but when it did get underway, Martin stormed into the lead at Ramsey with a three second advantage over Bruce Anstey, Gary Johnson and McGuinness.

McGuinness was up to third by the end of lap one with the top three all lapping over 130mph with Johnson now forced to fend off Michael Dunlop and Keith Amor for fourth. Dunlop would take the advantage in that particular battle on lap two while McGuinness had moved past Anstey into second.

The Morecambe man would take control on the third lap of six, with an excellent pitstop by the Honda TT Legends Team reducing Martin's lead to nothing. With the momentum now in his favour, McGuinness went a full seven seconds quicker than his rivals on lap three before setting the fastest lap of all next time around to all but secure victory.

In the end, McGuinness back off on the final lap with his winning margin reducing to eight seconds while Martin fended off Anstey to take a comfortable second, and remains without a win at the TT.

Michael Dunlop arguably should have been fourth but an error on lap four cost him dearly. The Street Sweep Kawasaki man ran straight on at Ballacraine and this allowed Cameron Donald through to fourth with Keith Amor taking fifth on the second TT Legends Honda. This was despite the Scotsman setting his first ever 130mph lap at the very end of the race to close to within a second of the Australian.

Gary Johnson completed a successful week, which included his first ever TT victory, with seventh place while William Dunlop, James Hillier and Michael Rutter completed the top ten.

McGuinness' second win of the week, along with four more podiums, secured the Joey Dunlop Trophy by 31 over Keith Amor and Guy Martin who both had successful weeks without tasting victory.

Meanwhile, Ian Mackman won the Privateers Championship despite finishing second to Simon Andrews on Friday, the Suzuki rider finished 23 points clear of Mark Buckley.

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