John McGuinness made yet more Isle of Man TT history on Friday with his 23rd career victory in the PokerStars Senior TT. The ‘Morecambe Missile’ obliterated the Superbike lap record, completing the mountain course in 132.701mph, on his way to a memorable victory ahead of James Hillier and Ian Hutchinson.
The race was initially red flagged on the second lap following an accident close to the 11th milestone. Jamie Hamilton was the rider involved and was soon airlifted to Nobles Hospital for treatment and although he remains in a critical condition, his injuries are not thought to life threatening.
The race was restarted with a new distance of four laps and McGuinness was untouchable, leading Hillier home by fourteen seconds, and the road racing legend admitted his latest success felt just as special as his first.
“I’ve been struggling a little this week, which is no-one’s fault. I have been slow off the line and losing a bit of time, and I needed to find the form I had a few years ago. In the restart I didn’t want James Hillier to catch me, so off the start I gave it my all, got my head down and pushed as hard as I could. Lap two I really did give it everything I could and the reaction coming in to the pits was amazing – it felt like it did when I broke the first 130mph lap. My team got me through the pits perfectly and going into the third lap the reaction from the crowd was great and I did think I’d taken the outright lap record.”
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to the marshals and the medics out there around the course, who do a fantastic job, and of course to my team and Honda for believing that it was still possible. Riding round the Isle of Man with a 17-second lead felt pretty special!”
With Hutchinson taking third, his own fairytale week was complete with the Bingley rider clinching the Joey Dunlop TT Championship. Guy Martin’s week didn’t have the happy ending so many were hoping for with the Tyco BMW rider finishing fourth while Michael Dunlop couldn’t take his BMW to victory, ending up 40 seconds down in fifth.
Earlier in the day, Ivan Lintin ended his wait for a maiden race victory in the Lightweight TT as more lap records tumbled. The RC Express rider held off Hiller who set a record-breaking 120.848mph lap to finish second with Michael Rutter rounding out the podium places on his Paton.