John McGuinness 1Lexelle-sponsored John McGuinness suffered a second successive year of heartache in the 500cc Classic TT race when he was forced to retire on the opening lap of Saturday’s four-lap race around the 37 and three-quarter mile Mountain Course.

Despite setting an unofficial lap record of 112.031mph  in Friday’s  final practice session, the TT legend had high hopes of victory when he swept through the first timing point at Glen Helen, some 8.1 seconds clear of Ian Lougher.

By Ballaugh, some 17 miles into the lap, McGuinness had extended his lead to 11 seconds but soon after it was clear all was not well as he was timed through the Sulby speed trap at 128mph, some 17mph down on the quickest speed set by Lougher.

But the Morecambe Missile race was soon over and he was forced to retire at Ginger Hall, after a front master cylinder worked its way loose.

John told the Lancaster Guardian that he was massively disappointed to have retired so soon in the race as everything was looking so good.

“Practice week had gone well and having not had the best of years, I put my heart and soul into getting a result in this race and, ideally a win,” he said.

“The bike was faultless during practice week and the 112mph lap on Friday evening felt really good so I was quietly confident going into the race.

“Just after Ballaugh though, I knew something was wrong and had no option other than to cruise along the Sulby Straight and pull in at Ginger Hall for a pint.

“It’s no-one’s fault though and nothing anyone could have done to prevent it, it’s literally just one of those things.”