NORTH WEST PROVES TO BE A GOOD WARM UP FOR RACER MCGUINNESS

JOHN McGuinness had a busy week at the Kennedy Internatioal North West 200 picking up a pair of podium finishes.
He was third in both of the Superbike classes, had to settle for one fifth from the Supersport races and retired in the Superstock race.
McGuinness was on pole for the first Superbike race, the DeWalt Performance Tools Superbike race but his team-mate in the HM Plant Honda team, Steve Plater, won the race.
Stobart Honda’s Michael Rutter was second with McGuinness maintaining a steady pace to finish third on his HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.
In race two, the Blackhorse Motorcycle Finance NW 200 Superbike event, Plater broke the lap record as he won again from Rutter.
McGuinness had a tough race working from a sixth place start through to his second podium finish of the day.
Afterwards he said: “To get on the podium twice is great. In the first race we were a little bit closer, in the second race I got left behind in no man’s land.
“It was good, and it’s a good ticket to the TT now. In a way it was a bit of a shake down for that and I’m confident that at the TT we can go quick and hopefully win.”

McGuinness had hoped for similar results in the Supersport class, unfortunately that wasn’t to be as he retired in race one and finished fifth in race two.
The Club SOI Supersport Race One got underway with McGuinness in fourth place however the Morecambe-based rider wasn’t able to make any progres.
The clutch was slipping and the bike was simply losing power and slowing down so he had no option but to retire.
The Ballymoney Borough Council Supersport Race Two got off to a better start with McGuinness leading at University.
But a couple of mistakes cost him a couple of race places and he ended the race in fifth position after a good test ahead of the Isle of Man TT.
He said: “Missing half that first race was disappointing, I never really got on top of my game on the 600 but, saying that, we got a lot of positives out of it that we will take to the TT.”
The CP Hire Superstock race proved a difficult event for McGuinness as he again failed to finish.
Starting from the back row of the grid, due to qualifying being curtailed due to a red flag, McGuinness had a tough job working through the throng of riders.
He had moved up through the pack but ran on at Church Corner, which put him back down the order.
McGuinness decided to stay out on track and use the time to help dial himself into the bike on a pure road circuit in preparation for the Isle of Man TT.
McGuinness was disappointed afterwards.
He said: “It was a bit of a disaster really. It’s the bike I ride all the time in the British Superstock Championship so I was really looking forward to it, but the circumstances were out of our hands with the stoppages and everything in practice.
“I did a few laps and set off from the back of the grid and to be honest I didn’t enjoy being back there,
“I went up the slip road at Church, turned round and had some clear track in front of me, and did a few laps to get a good feel for the bike.
“I was confident with it, so at least we achieved something in readiness for the TT.”

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