John McGuinness gets Isle of Man TT camapaign underway


Lexelle-sponsored rider John McGuinness was left frustrated as heavy raid cut short Monday’s practice session for his 17th Isle of Man TT campaign.

John got underway in steady fashion on Saturday as he escorted a number of newcomers around on their speed-controlled lap.

Monday’s practice session was hit by heavy rain, strong winds and cool temperatures with only the Superstock and Supersport machines taking to the 37 and ¾-mile course for an hour-long un-timed session.

Damp patches existed around the course whilst swirling mist on the Mountain also meant visibility wasn’t ideal but John was still able to complete two laps.

The 19-times winner said: “It’s been a bit of a slow start to the TT compared to what I’m used to and we’re all chomping at the bit now to get out on the Superbike but there’s nothing we can do about the weather and at least I’ve managed a few laps on the Superstock machine.

“I really enjoyed taking the newcomers around for a lap and it’s a great innovation, easing them into their first TT experience. I’ll never forget my first practice session; it was 5.15am and on that first lap I encountered sun, rain, mist and wind so it really was a case of four seasons in one day and a real baptism of fire! To see so many newcomers here, and from all over the world, is fantastic and shows the appeal the TT still has.

“The conditions on Saturday evening were perfect and the track was in good shape, apart from being a bit dusty in places and a couple of new bits of tarmac, there were no great surprises. They’ve smoothed out the approach to Ramsey, the Mountain Mile and Bedstead but nothing to make any major differences so I just want to get some dry track time now and start building everything up.

“Monday’s session was just a sighting session really so I just took it steady and had a run round. At the same time though, I got two laps in on the Stocker and it was good to blow the cobwebs away although I’ve never known so many stones around the course. We just need to get some dry weather now and TT2013 will be properly up and running for everyone.”

Sadly, Monday’s practice session was marred by an incident which claimed the life of Yoshinari Matsushita and John would like to pass on his deepest condolences to all of the family and friends of the Japanese rider.