2017 PI Classic: Misfire holds back McGuinness in morning session

Picture: Aussie Russell Colvin

TT Legend John McGuinness had a few little issues to deal with on the first day on track at the Phillip Island Classic, and the leading problem was a little misfire at the start of the day along with a few little bits and pieces.

However, towards the end of the day his Team Winfield Honda Harris F1 machine was running quite “sweet” as McGuinness described it. “Hopefully those issues that I had will be the last issues I’ll have for the weekend,” said the 44-year-old.

Not only was McGuinness dealing with a few issues, but he was also getting his head around the fast and flowing Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

“Phillip Island takes a bit to get dialled in, as it’s quite quick and I was a little bit rusty to be honest. At home there is not a lot going on at the moment apart from scraping ice off your windscreen. So yeah, the first few laps felt a bit fast and a bit to get used to again,” explained the 23-time winner of the Isle of Man TT.

Overall however, it was a good day for McGuinness who said he and the team have had a solid start to this iconic event. One thing McPint and the other faster riders had to deal with today was a bit of lap traffic on the circuit. What was his view on the ‘slower’ riders?

“Everyone has a right to be on the track. They pay their entry and they have every right to be on the track. After all, it’s a track day at the end of the day. In qualifying it might be a bit different as it might get a bit frustrating as you might get a few slower guys. In saying that, everyone is doing the best they can.”

Since his debut at the Island Classic in 2014, McGuinness has finished every single race in the top ten, bar race one in 2015, while his best overall result has been a fifth place respectfully in 2014 and 2016.

“It’s been solid for me here in terms of results. I wouldn’t say I’m the fastest and I wouldn’t say I’m not the slowest. I’m sort of ‘average Joe’. In saying that, that is what the team want me for. They need a solid point’s scorer and I feel I’m a solid scorer really.”

However McGuinness openly admitted that he does get a bit frustrated at times as he struggles with the pace of the riders up front.

“I have scored good points over the last few years and I’ve done my best and that’s all you can do,” explained the likeable character.

When McGuinness was asked what his goals were for the weekend, he explained that he would like to be a bit closer to the leading riders.

“I’m not aggressive enough at the start. The leading guys seem to pull a load of time at the start. With only a six lap race you have no chance of doing anything. So if I can be a little bit sharper and a little bit closer to the front I would go home happy. On top of that if I could match, if not quicker my times than I have done in the past, it would also be nice.”

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