TT 2018: McGuinness hoping to head out for parade laps

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Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness has said he hopes to be able to do some parade laps on the Norton V4 he was scheduled to race at this year’s TT after confirming he won’t see any competitive action.

Having spent the past 12 months recovering from the broken leg he sustained in a crash at the fast Primrose Hill section of the North West 200 course, McGuinness had looked on course to make his Norton debut at the TT next week, but suffered a set-back when a crack formed at the front of his original fracture.

Despite that, there was still a slim chance the 23-time TT winner could make the grid after he had a plate fitted to the bone with surgeons telling him he’d be back on his feet a week or two prior to the TT. However, the planets haven’t aligned for the Morecambe Missile, who has conceded that he won’t be on the grid for 2018.

“It’s annoying as I was so painstakingly close!” he told MCN. “I’m about a week or two away from being ready to race and it’s just too close, if the TT was a couple of weeks later it would probably be a different story! 

“We are hoping to put it together that I can do some parade laps on the Norton as in my heart I feel like I’ve let everyone down, or sold something on false pretences but that’s not true… When I signed for Norton I didn’t know if I’d be on the grid, but when my cage came off and I was walking on stage at the press launch I genuinely thought we were going to be there. People keep saying I’ve not let anyone down, but if I can do some parade laps at least I’m giving something back.

“I’ve stopped kicking myself about it now, a few weeks ago I was stressed, fed up and worried but now I just think of Bruce Anstey. I don’t know how serious it is with him but anything with the big ‘C’ involved is never good news. I really hope he pulls through it… but me, I’m not in any pain, I’m at the North West having a good time – it could be a lot worse.

“I’m now at the point where I think everything happens for a reason. Those closest to me have been saying that this might be a blessing in disguise. I was always going to be behind the curve, so many of the guys have been riding all year, testing, BSB races… I could have ended up doing more damage and demoralising myself even more.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing