2022 Isle of Man TT | McGuinness ‘so happy’ with top five in 100th TT

John McGuinness is left beaming as he record his best finish on the Isle of Man TT since 2016 during an emotional 100th TT start with Honda Racing

John McGuinness - Honda Racing

John McGuinness says he is ‘so happy’ to have brought home a competitive top five result in the first 2022 Isle of Man TT Superbike TT race as he toasted an emotional 100th start on the island.

A veritable legend of the road racing discipline, McGuinness brought up his ‘ton’ in fine fashion on his return to the Honda Racing outfit with which he achieved his most prominent of his 23 successes at the TT since his debut in 1996.

While a combination of injury, an ill-fated stint at Norton and COVID-19 has slowed the momentum of his quest to match Joey Dunlop’s record-holding 26 wins at the TT, 50-year old McGuinness still proved competitive on a special gold-themed liveried Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade.

Overcoming a leisurely start that had him outside the top ten on the initial splits, he pulled it back to seventh by the end of the first lap before benefiting from retirements ahead to ascend into fourth. He eventually settled for fifth behind Ian Hutchinson with a best lap of 129.274mph.

“I'm so happy with the result today. To be back here on the Fireblade and with this team has been like coming home, I'm so grateful to Harv (Havier Beltran – team manager) for bringing me back into the team. 

“And at the end of the day it's my 100th start, it's been a wonderful day celebrating that with my family, the team and the fans. I've never seen so many on the course, and they're all waving. It's been special.

“It's also been serious. I'm on a Superbike and there's no getting away from it, they're hard to ride, seriously powerful things. Before the start we figured to bring it home in the top six would be a realistic result, so it's good to do that, although I can't deny I feel I let the team down a bit. There again I know my limits, you have to bring it home.:

McGuinness also saved some praise for his team-mate Glenn Irwin, who smashed the TT newcomers’ record with a lap that almost saw him become the first debutant to crack 130mph for the first time.

“Also, I have to doff my cap to my teammate, Glenn. That was an incredible result, and to lap at nearly 130mph in your first race, he's a special talent!”