Lexelle-sponsored John McGuinness finished the 2013 road racing season with a fourth place finish for the Honda TT Legends team at the Macau Grand Prix.
The Morecambe rider was looking to add a second win to his 2001 victory around the 3.8-mile Armco-lined course and the week started promisingly with a provisional second place after the opening qualifying session on Thursday.
Ian Hutchinson overhauled both John and Michael Rutter on Friday to claim pole position. John’s time of 2m27.447s saw him line up in third and on the front row of the grid.
A strong start saw John slot into third place behind Gary Johnson and Rutter on the long run down to Lisboa Corner but by the end of the lap, he’d been pushed back to fourth by Hutchinson with two seconds covering the quartet.
However, the front three soon began to pull away and by lap six, John found himself over ten seconds adrift and coming under extreme pressure from Jimmy Storrar.
Indeed, the Scotsman pushed John back to fifth place soon after and the TT Legend had to call upon all his experience to fight his way back.
He did exactly that though and regained fourth on the 11th lap and with the race being stopped early two laps later due to Dean Harrison’s crashed bike lying in the middle of the track, that was his end result.
Although not quite the finish he wanted, it was another strong performance from John and the result ensured it was his 10th top-four finish since first competing at the Far East venue in 1998.
John said: “2001 is a long time ago and I’d have loved nothing more than another win here but I’ve put my heart and soul in and gone round as hard as I could all weekend. I got a great start and slotted into third going into Lisboa but before I knew it, Hutchy had gone by and the front three boys were four seconds down the road. Their pace in the first couple of laps was incredibly strong and try as I might, the gap kept creeping up.
“When Jimmy overtook, it woke me up a bit and I dug deep again to get by him and although I wasn’t able to make it onto the podium, it was a solid fourth place. The bike’s been good, the team’s been good and we’ve all enjoyed ourselves, I just couldn’t really have done any more. I have to say hats off to Hutchy. He hasn’t been on a bike for a long, long time, so to take the win, pole position and fastest lap in such hot company and on one of the toughest tracks in the world is an unbelievable achievement.”