Brands BSB: McGuinness and Walker in Ducati Cup podium scrap

| | BSB Support
Picture: Ian Hopgood

John McGuinness enjoyed a superb weekend of racing at Brands Hatch, Kent at the weekend with the Morecambe Missile claiming second and sixth place finishes on the Blue Earth Construction Ducati in the two Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup races.

The weekend started well for McGuinness as he posted the fourth quickest time in qualifying and that enabled him to line up at the head of the second row for Saturday’s opening 12-lap race where the morning’s rain had been replaced by good, dry conditions.

With his customary good start, McGuinness slotted into third at the completion of the opening lap but he soon found himself pushed down to fourth with Elliott Pinson overhauling him a lap later. Pinson’s team-mate Edmund Best then relegated John to fifth on lap five.

McGuinness held station in fifth for the next few laps although former British Superbike Championship star Chris Walker was slowly reeling him in and, indeed, by lap seven the duo were running nose to tail. Walker soon edged ahead and, try as he might, John was unable to get back ahead and he had to settle for a solid sixth at the chequered flag.

He started Sunday’s 10-lap race, held in damp but drying conditions, from the same position and another good start helped move him up to fifth straightaway although Best pushed him back to sixth at the end of the first lap.

A lap later though he was back to fifth having overhauled David Shoubridge and he was only 1.2s adrift of race leader Elliott Pinson. However, he crashed out on lap three which put John up to fourth and this soon became third as he overtook reigning champion Josh Day.

Walker was leading the race but on lap five, McGuinness dived up the inside of Best to claim second and lap by lap, reduced the gap to his rival, the deficit down to 1.1s at the end of the sixth lap. That became 0.7s next time around but in the closing stages, they encountered some slower traffic and that allowed Walker to edge away although second place was still a brilliant result for the former 250cc British Champion.

After two rounds of the series, McGuinness now sits in sixth overall on 48 points.

“I never thought I’d be back on a podium at a BSB meeting so I’m over the moon. Tyre choice was what it boiled down to but at the last minute, I went for dry tyres and thought ‘we’re in here’,” said McGuinness.

‘I really enjoyed the race and although Chris was in my sights all the time, I think he had it all under control but second place and a podium is superb - two wily old foxes back on the box. Some of the other riders have a bit of an edge on top speed over me but I’m putting myself in good positions and am there to pick up the pieces if anything happens in front of me.

‘I need to believe in myself a little bit more but the team’s working well and everyone’s happy so roll on the next round.”

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