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Morecambe motorcycle ace John McGuinness congratulates rival on equalling his number of TT wins

John McGuinness. Photo courtesy of Honda Racing.

John McGuinness congratulated Michael Dunlop in a touching moment after the Northern Irishman equalled the Morecambe man's number of Isle of Man TT wins.

The motorcycle legend shook hands with Dunlop and embraced him after the 34-year-old won the RST Superbike Race over the iconic island circuit on Sunday.

The win lifts Dunlop to 23 wins at the TTs, second equal with McGuinness on the all-time list behind Michael's uncle, the late Joey Dunlop.

McGuinness finished a creditable sixth for Honda Racing in Sunday's race.

'The Morecambe Missile' is shown here congratulating Dunlop after the race.

The 51-year-old from Morecambe had become the first competitor in his 50s to lap the infamous mountain course at more than 131mph during qualifying.

Dunlop led from start to finish on the Hawk Racing Honda to win by 8.2 seconds as Peter Hickman (Monster Energy by FHO Racing BMW) narrowly missed out on a new outright lap record with a speed of 135.445mph on his final lap. Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) was third.

As for 'The Morecambe Missile', he had been flying during qualifying week at the TTs, used the opening qualifying session to back-to-back test two Superbike spec Fireblades, with the second entered as a T-Bike.

On just his first flying lap of the session, he lapped at an average speed of 129.398 mph, to go quicker than he did during the entire 2022 event. 

By the third qualifying session, John once more found himself lapping in excess of 130 mph with a lap of 17:24.548 at an average speed of 130.035 mph, his first lap over this speed barrier since 2016. 

During the final qualifying session of the week - he lapped in 17:16.832 (131.003mph), his quickest ever lap of the mountain course on this current model Fireblade. 

Before Sunday's race, McGuinness said: "We are in the mix, we are improving, and you can’t do a right lot more in your life than improve! And we are having the headline ‘no one has been over 131 at 51!’ 

"The package has been mint, the boys have been great and we are all on the same page, we are here enjoying it and having a good time. We get one go a year at this and you sit there in winter and it’s raining and it’s miserable and you just want to make a good fist of it when you get here.

"If you get here and you haven't prepared it takes a long time to get over it. I was swilling last year’s TT in my head for quite a bit. You have got to take these chances, one day I won't be able to do it and it will be a big old hole to fill.

"This year, I have prepared and I am feeling good. The Superbike is feeling really good and we are in a good place, everything is positive, everyone is smiling."

McGuinness, who will compete again later in the week, raced for the first time in the Isle of Man event in 1996, picking up his first win in 1999.

He is the TT lap record holder and has 23 wins and 44 podiums in his Isle of Man career, and was awarded the MBE for services to motorcycling in 2021.

 

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