Eazi Grip

John McGuinness cracks 131mph in the Milwaukee Senior TT

The Isle of Man TT Races drew to a close with a sensational Senior TT, with John McGuinness MBE scoring another hard-fought seventh-place finish aboard his factory Fireblade.

In what has been simply superb conditions from day one of this year’s event, the atmosphere ramped up significantly as the crowd packed the grid to see their idols fire away from the start line. Back on his Superbike, the bike on which he has been riding extremely well all event, John would roar down Bray Hill on his opening lap from his third-place grid position. From a standing start, he set yet another 130 mph lap and would end lap one in eighth position, under half a second behind David Johnson ahead.

He held this position on the timing screens all the way through his second lap of the Mountain Course as he dived into the pit lane. As has been the case throughout race week, the Honda Racing UK team went about their roles with precision and speed to send John back on his way in just 53.215 seconds. Setting one of the quickest pit stop times in the process.

Soaring through Glen Helen, the speedy pit stop had helped to fire John up the standings and into sixth position as he completed sector one of lap three. John’s consistency and experience meant that he would maintain this position all the way through to the second pit stop of the race, after lapping at an average speed in excess of 130 mph again.

The team, not content with setting frighteningly quick pit stop times already, went about their work with even greater speed to change a visor, fuel the tank, clean the screen and fit new rubber to the Fireblade. All of which was completed in just 51.240 seconds, resulting in a total race pit time of just 1.44.56, by far the quickest of the top 10 teams.

As the race drew to a close, John would draw on all of his experience and speed to go about setting his quickest lap of the entire event, a sensational lap of 17:15.408 to set an average lap speed of 131.183 mph. Setting such a lap speed during a race cements his status as the only rider to have set a racing lap in excess of 131 mph average whilst in their 50s.

John’s remarkable record now stands at 108 TT starts and as a clear show of his affinity to the manufacturer with which he has achieved so much success, 80 of these starts have been on a Honda.

John however was not the only rider in this Senior TT to be riding a Honda as six Fireblades finished inside the top ten positions, the highest placing of which was Michael Dunlop (Hawk Racing) who once again stood on the podium in third.

The team now turn their attention back to the short circuits and will be back in action at Knockhill for round 4 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on 16-18th June.

#3 John McGuinness MBE

From the drop of the flag it was ‘make no mistakes, hit every apex and enjoy every minute of it.’ It’s not many times you can do six laps around here, so you have to talk to yourself, keep concentrating and remember to breathe! It’s a long tough race this. My leathers are hanging off me now! I reckon I’ve lost five kilos this week. My neck is sore, but everyone will be sore, if they say they’re not they are lying. 

The atmosphere out there was incredible and I’ve done a lot of TT’s, that’s my 108th TT start. The result is seventh in a cracking good field made up of BSB riders at the top of their game. I just enjoyed it, the boys did a mint job in the pits, I messed up not having it in neutral but the boys didn’t panic and they sorted that out!

My highlight is seeing the team happy, seeing everyone out there having a good time. For me, that means a lot. I get to do the fun bit and they have to do the stress bit, preparing the bikes. 

The whole thing has been fantastic, right back from testing in Spain, all the riding and racing in Superstock, visiting bike dealers and doing the shows, I’ve loved every minute of it and I wish I could do it all again tomorrow. After this event, it’s such a big hole to fill. 

Posted on Monday, June 12th, 2023 in News

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