TT 2013: ‘Dunlop’s lap was incredible’ - McGuinness

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McGuinness at Ballacraine in the Superstock race
McGuinness at Ballacraine in the Superstock race Picture: Mark Walters

Nineteen-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness paid tribute to Honda Legends team-mate Michael Dunlop after today’s Superstock TT, saying he wouldn’t have believed the 131mph lap had he not seen it with his own eyes.

The Morecambe Missile tried to tag on to the back of the Ballymoney man when he went past on the road, but McGuinness admitted there was no chance of that happening as the Ulsterman’s pace was too much.

McGuinness himself enjoyed a successful day. In the morning’s Supersport 600cc race, a strong opening lap of 124.608mph left John in seventh place such was the pace at the head of the field but as the race progressed, he got into his stride and continued to progress up the leaderboard. Quickening his pace to 125.538mph second time around, McGuinness moved up to fifth and with another rapid pit stop he was able to close right up on Guy Martin.

Sure enough, on lap three he overhauled his Suzuki rival and, circulating on the road with eventual race winner Michael Dunlop, Bruce Anstey, Cameron Donald and James Hillier, he was now in with a chance of the final podium spot. With a final lap of 126.145mph, just outside his personal best on a 600cc machine, he just missed out on a podium but a strong fourth place was an excellent outcome.

With little chance of a break, he was back out less than two hours later for the 4=four-lap Superstock race riding the larger capacity Honda, and with an opening lap of 128.051mph, he slotted into a strong fourth place. Here he remained until lap three when third placed Guy Martin was hit with a 30s penalty for speeding in the pit lane and, promoted up to third, another 128mph+ lap on the fourth and final lap gave him his second podium of the week, and 38th in total. Dunlop was again the winner with Gary Johnson in second.

Speaking later, a pleased McGuinness said; "I’ve really enjoyed the races today and am pleased with the results. I’m riding for some brilliant people and Honda and the Padgetts family keep giving me some great bikes so I keep going out there and doing my best. The 600cc race was a lot of fun and it’s very unusual to have so many of us battling on the road so it was great to be part of that. As always, I rode my own race, hitting all my apexes, braking at my markers and getting on the power when I should have done so I’m happy enough.

"Full credit to Michael in the Superstock race as that final lap was incredible. To lap at 131mph on a Superstock bike is something special and when he came by me at the 11th Milestone I thought I’d tag on and stick with him for the rest of the lap. There was no chance of that happening though this afternoon and if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it! It’s been a tough few days so I’m looking forward to a day off and I think I’ll take the family out and disappear to a beach somewhere."