‘Shocked’ John McGuinness hints at retirement after 2021 Isle of Man TT axe

The 2021 Isle of Man TT axe leaves John McGuinness considering his future in the sport if the next TT won't be for another 18 months... 

John McGuinness - Mugen Shinden Hachi TT Zero Isle of Man

John McGuinness says he was ‘shocked’ to learn he won’t be competing on the Isle of Man TT for a second consecutive year, hinting that the extended period out of action could make him consider his future in thes sport.

Last week it was confirmed  - six months in advance of its intended start - that the 2021 event in late-May/early-June would not go ahead as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Justifying the early call on a necessity to ensure clarity at this early stage and prevent teams or organisers from going to the expense of beginning preparations, it is feared the tiny Manx island would suffer greatly from opening itself up to a huge international event attracting upwards of 70,000 visitors.



However, it is a huge blow to the road racing specialist contingent at the end of an already desperate year spent largely out of action in anticipation of a return to normality in 2021. Indeed, while most circuit racing resumed in 2020 and can look forward to a full season in 2021, the plight of the road racers seems a longer one.

As such, while McGuinness - who with 23 wins on the TT is only three shy of equalling Joey Dunlop’s ultimate record - understands the reasons behind the cancellation, he says it doesn’t make it any less impactful for him.

“The recent cancellation of the Tourist Trophy comes at the most inopportune moment for me. I have to admit that now I feel completely empty,” he told Moto.it’s MoW (Men on Wheels) e-mag.

"I am shocked. We must admit that the news was in the air and that somehow we we all expected it, but it is still difficult to accept. Although it is an absolutely understandable choice, given that the reasons that led to this choice are well known and more than acceptable.”

Troubling McGuinness - who was due to ride the Quattro Plant Kawasaki ZX-10RR - is the fact he will be touching 50 by the time the 2022 Isle of Man TT rolls around. 

Coupled to the challenge of staying in shape ahead of the TT - the next of which is now 18 months away - could have the effect of making the 'Morecombe Missile' consider his next moves.

“The recent cancellation of the Tourist Trophy comes at the most inopportune moment for me. I have to admit that now I feel completely empty.

"When I am on the starting line of the TT in 2022 and look towards Bray Hill, I will already have half a century of life behind me,” he also told Manx Radio. “I dream of that moment, but obviously I can't say if it will really come or not, because in a year and a half many things can happen.”