TT legend McGuinness ‘numb’ after 2021 cancellation

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Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness has admitted to feeling a ‘bit numb’ after the decision to cancel the 2021 Isle of Man TT Races was announced on Monday.

The 23-time winner was due to ride for Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki initially in 2020 and again in 2021 but is now faced with the prospect of being 50 years of age when the next TT race takes place. And while that’s neither unheard of or unusual, it’s left him with a lot of questions that will need answering in the months ahead as he told bikesportnews.com.

“It’s hard to know what to say or how to make any sense of it to be honest and it’s just pretty disappointing all round. If you’re doing BSB or are a rider who has a full time job and goes racing on the side, the cancellation won’t matter too much but it’s my bread and butter and without it for another year is difficult to get my head around,” McGuinness told bikesportnews.com.

“I’m a bit numb to be honest and it feels so weird to cancel something that’s so far ahead, particularly for the August date which was when pretty much all of us thought the TT would be taking place. I think we’d all written the traditional June date off but I was confident of it going ahead in late August.’

“At the same time, the Manx government have tried to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic in their own way which has undoubtedly worked and they obviously don’t want it back. Life is absolutely normal over on the island so you can’t blame for them for making the decision as they’re protecting their people and their livelihoods.”

When the 2022 TT comes around, I’ll be 50 so for myself, Michael (Rutter) and Bruce (Anstey) another cancellation isn’t great. It’s going to be difficult at that age but it’s something we have to deal with – we just have to get on with it. In the greater scheme of things, a motorbike race being cancelled for another year isn’t a big deal for a lot of people and it’s not going to stop the world going round – it just means it will be 2022 when we get to spin 130mph laps around there and not 2021.

McGuinness has already spoken to Pete Extance, owner of Bournemouth Kawasaki, with regards to 2022 and the bikes will continue to be there for the Morecambe legend and he’s now looking at getting through the interim period as best he can.

“Pete’s said the bikes will be there for me, which is obviously a great boost, but like I say, it won’t be easy at the age of 50. At the end of the day it will be up to me and what I do know is that there’s no way I want my career to end through no fault of my own. I want to be making my 100th TT start in the 2022 Superbike race.

“I can do the Ducati Cup again next year and hopefully the North West and Classic TT will run but there’s no doubt the cancellation of next year’s TT will massively affect a few of us.”

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