BSB Brands Finale: McGuinness ends season with double podium

| | BSB Support

John McGuinness wrapped up his 2021 season in superb style at the weekend with a brace of third place finishes in the final round of the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup at Brands Hatch.

Riding the Blue Earth Construction Ducati, the Morecambe ace signalled his intentions for the weekend from the off with third place in Friday’s free practice session around the famous 2.43-mile Grand Prix circuit.

Qualifying the following day took place in slightly damp conditions but the track dried as the session wore on and the end result for the 23-times TT winner was a strong fourth place on the grid for the afternoon’s 10-lap race.

A good start saw McGuinness consolidate his fourth position and although he dropped a place on lap three, he moved up to third a lap later when three-time champion Josh Day pulled into the pits and early race leader David Shoubridge dropped back. From that moment on, he was never challenged and duly took third for his second podium finish of the season.

Starting Sunday’s second 10-lap encounter from fifth on the grid, the opening lap saw the number four maintain the position but stay in contention for the final podium. When Craig Neve crashed in front of him at Paddock Hill Bend on lap three, he was promoted up the order to fourth, just half a second behind David Jones.

The Welshman then had an almost identical crash to Neve at the start of lap five and with McGuinness now in third, the safety car was deployed for three laps. Racing resumed at the start of lap eight but with further crashes occurring in the slightly damp conditions, the red flag came out and the result declared, with John taking a double visit to the podium.

The haul of 32 points enabled McGuinness to complete the season fifth overall in the Championship.

“It’s been a great end to what’s been a really enjoyable season,” McGuinness said from the Kent paddock on Sunday. “I always enjoy racing at Brands Hatch and straightaway on Friday, I felt really good on the bike and posted some good lap times.

“I felt comfortable in all conditions and with a good start in the first race, I was able to get with the front group and convert it into a third place finish and podium.

“Sunday’s race followed a similar pattern but you had to be really careful that you stayed on line as it was quite damp off it. The damp white line caught out both Craig and David and I was able to take full advantage with another third place finish coming our way.

“The team’s worked really hard all season so a big thanks to Blue Earth Construction and all the sponsors for making it all possible.”