Honda TT Legend John McGuinness storms to Senior victory
The 2011 Isle of Man TT ended on a high today with a sensational Senior race that saw Honda TT Legend John McGuinness storm to his 17th victory. His well-earned place on the top step of the podium takes Honda’s tally of TT wins to 159 – 57 of which have been won by the Louth-based team behind the Honda TT Legends.
McGuinness’s teammate Keith Amor completed the Senior TT in fifth position – another impressive effort from the Scotsman who has been suffering with a painful shoulder injury sustained during practice last week.
The riders had a tense wait for today’s race as rainfall in certain areas of the 37-mile lap postponed the start three times. It eventually went ahead at 5.15pm under a clear blue sky with near-perfect conditions. McGuinness started the race in the number one slot and by the end of lap two he was running in third position behind Guy Martin and Bruce Anstey.
A characteristically slick pit stop from Honda TT Legends crew enabled him to make up valuable time and by the Ramsey Hairpin on lap three he had stolen the lead from Martin. McGuinness controlled the rest of the race in spectacular style, widening the gap sector-by-sector and lap-by-lap to keep his rivals at bay and claim the deserved top spot.
Despite his injury, Keith Amor spent the majority of the race in a fierce battle for fourth place with Honda TT Legends EWC reserve rider Cameron Donald. The two swapped places on the leader board numerous times before traffic on the final lap forced Amor in to fifth – an achievement that cannot be underestimated.
Following the team’s great success on the Isle of Man, the Honda TT Legends will now take a six-week break ahead of the next round of the 2011 Endurance World Championship – the Suzuka Eight-Hour in Japan.
Neil Tuxworth, team manager
We came here to do two races and we won them both so it’s been fantastic – a 100% success for the team. John has done a fabulous job, and considering his injury and his crashes, so has Keith. He finished both his races in the top five, which is very impressive. As always, the team in the pits has done brilliantly, pulling back time to enable John to take the lead. The bike has gone superbly and we’ve had no problems at all. We’re over the moon!
I can’t remember being pushed that hard in a superbike race for a very long time. It took me a lap or so to get into the rhythm of the superbike again and I made the odd little mistake at the beginning there. I settled down after lap two, we had a mega pit stop and after that I was just going for it. On laps three and four I was pushing really, really hard and after another good pit stop I was able to run round on the last two laps with enough pace to stop Guy catching me. He made me work for it though! I want to thank the whole team and everyone who is behind the scenes making this happen – without them I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now. I’m so proud of winning my 17th win.
That last lap was so frustrating. I think I could have finished in fourth had I not been caught up but I just couldn’t get passed the back runners. I knew I was on a fast lap but by the time I got to the top of Barregarrow there was too much traffic. To be honest though I’m happy. After all the drama of the last ten days I am just relieved that it’s over and I’m in one piece. I’ve finished all my races and I’ve finished them inside the top five – I can’t complain.