When it was announced that John McGuinness would start this year’s TT from fifth many wrongly assumed the 23-time mountain course winner had been demoted down the order, but the Morecambe Missile has now revealed it was his choice to drop back between rivals Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop.
While he bagged two podiums, 2016 was a lacklustre TT for McGuinness as he found himself unable to fight at the pace of Dunlop and Hutchinson at the front. Therefore, in an effort to take himself back to the sharp end, he’s opted for a new challenge this year.
“Gone are the days you can take number one and clear off into the distance,” he explained at last week’s TT launch on the Isle of Man. “I felt like I needed someone to chase, to track down as I try and sharpen myself up a bit. Ten years ago I was always good up to the first checkpoint at Glen Helen but that’s now probably one of my weakest points.
“I need a kick up the backside and knowing I’ve got Dunlop behind me, I’ll have to pull my finger out or he’ll be taking the paint off the side of my bike!”
Norton's Dave Johnson will now start from the number one spot, ahead of Bruce Anstey and James Hillier.
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