John McGuinness made history at the 2013 Isle of Man TT races with victory in the Pokerstars Senior TT, taking his podium tally to a record 41, surpassing the great Joey Dunlop.
The ‘Morecambe Missile’ took the win ahead of team-mate Michael Dunlop, who took his fifth podium result of the week, the first time he hadn’t made the top step in the 2013 event. Bruce Anstey rounded out the top three, narrowly beating Lightweight TT winner James Hillier by a margin of just 0.978 seconds.
The initial race was red flagged during the first lap as an incident at the bottom of Bray Hill involving Jonathan Howarth, who only suffured minor injuries, injured 10 spectators, with five remaining in hospital for treatment, one in the emergency department.
The race restarted at 4:30pm, with the first couple of laps seeing minimal gaps between the leading riders. The first gaps at Glen Helen showed Gary Johnson leading by 0.5 seconds from William Dunlop, with brother Michael just 0.05 seconds further back.
As the leaders flew past the Grandstand to end the first lap, the top five all posting a lap time of over 130mph, with only seven seconds separating Michael Dunlop, McGuinness, Johnson, Michael Rutter and Guy Martin.
McGuinness made his move on the second lap, opening up a lead of 2.4 seconds over Dunlop with a lap at 131.272mph, with Dunlop pulling nearly five seconds ahead of fan favourite, Martin.
A slick pit stop from the Honda TT Legends team extended McGuinness’ lead before Dunlop came back, biting at his heels. The two battled as the race reached half distance, with only two seconds separating the duo as Anstey, Martin and Hillier fought for the final podium position.
It was on the fourth lap of the race, though, that McGuinness seemed to find that special place that has seen him take 19 previous TT victories, as he increased his lead at every timing point on the 37 mile Snaefell Mountain Course.
Hillier also benefited from McGuinness’ pace, as the Kawasaki rider, who was the first to head down Bray Hill, caught hold of McGuinness’ slipstream, helping him lap at over 131mph and put pressure on Anstey for third position.
As the race neared its conclusion, McGuinness and Dunlop appeared to be safe in their positions and attention turned to the battle for third. Hillier had the lead as the riders started their sixth and final lap, but only by a margin of 0.16 seconds.
All four leading riders lapped at over 131mph on the final lap, with Hillier and Anstey both setting personal best lap times, Anstey’s proving to be the fastest lap of the race overall and good enough to take third from Hillier by less than a second.
Guy Martin rounded out the top five, leading home Michael Rutter, William Dunlop, Dean Harrison, Dan Stewart and David Johnston.
McGuinness’ victory takes his tally to 20 TT wins, just six behind the all time record of Joey Dunlop.