Isle of Man TT: John McGuinness wins Superbike race

By Phil Wain -

TT & road races

 08 June 2009 13:35

John McGuinness won a record-breaking Superbike TT race today, coming home over 18 seconds clear of HM Plant Honda team-mate Steve Plater.

McGuinness also set a new outright lap record of 130.442mph on his way to claiming his 15th TT victory, the second highest total in the history of the races.

With dry, sunny conditions all around the course, McGuinness was pushed hard in the early stages by Conor Cummins on the McAdoo Racing Kawasaki and his advantage was only 5 seconds at the end of the first lap although there was huge disappointment for Bruce Anstey who retired his Relentless by TAS Suzuki at Ballacraine on the opening lap.

Cummins was also in trouble with a jumping chain and a lengthy pit stop, saw him slip back to sixth at half race distance as Plater, Guy Martin, Gary Johnson and Ian Hutchinson all overhauled him.

McGuinness’ lead was up to 11 seconds at the end of the second lap but Plater, who became the second man to officially lap at over 130mph with a speed of 130.122mph, cut the deficit to less than 8 seconds half way round the 3rd lap.

McGuinness responded though and later admitted that he pushed really hard on the fifth lap to pull away from his fellow Honda rider.

This he duly did and with another 130mph lap on his sixth and final lap, 130.259mph, he ran home 18.11seconds clear with Plater, taking his first big bike TT podium, almost 34 seconds ahead of Martin.

With Honda celebrating their 50th anniversary of racing it proved to be a memorable day with them filling the first five places, Hutchinson and Johnson taking fourth and fifth.

Having now bettered Mike Hailwood’s total of 14 wins, McGuinness is now second outright only to the late, great Joey Dunlop.

“Conditions were a bit dusty on the first couple of laps and there wasn’t a lot of grip out there to begin with,” he said, “but I went hard from the start and managed to pull out a bit of a lead on the first lap.

"I tried to consolidate it as much as I could but Steve was pushing me hard so I had a real go on the bottom part of the circuit on the fifth lap and managed to make it stick.”

Adrian Archibald came through from a first lap 14th to a strong 6th, also consolidating his tag as the fastest ever Irishman around the Mountain Course with a final lap of 128.883mph.

Ian Lougher, competing in his 100th TT, took seventh ahead of leading privateers Carl Rennie, Dan Stewart and John Burrows.

Cummins’ misery was compounded when his engine blew up at the Verandah on the final lap whilst Michael Rutter also retired when he was back flagged at Ramsey with a broken gear lever. Keith Amor was another high profile retirement.