Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness has explained his decision to give up the number one start slot for 2017 as he drops down to fifth in the race order, saying he believes he needs someone to chase to sharpen himself up.
The factory Honda man has been first on the road every year since 2011 - barring 2013 - but feels he may be better served having the likes of Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson around him.
“I had a win off one, two, three and four, so I thought I would spice it up a little bit. Maybe it was time for a change. Gone are the days where I could set off at number one and clear off into the distance. I’ve done that in the past but I feel like I need someone to chase, someone to track down to try and sharpen myself up a little bit,” said McGuinness, speaking at the Villa Marina launch.
“Ten years ago I was the fastest to Glen Helen but now that’s probably my weakest point. I need a kick up the backside and knowing that Michael is behind me and Hutchy is in front of me means I have to get my finger out before I get the paint taken off the side of my bike. If he catches me, he will be quick and he might drag me forward.”