Honda Racing’s John McGuinness takes fourth in Isle of Man TT Superbike race

The 2015 Isle of Man TT RST Superbike race, which had been postponed to today following yesterday’s high winds, got underway just after 2pm this afternoon in near-perfect conditions. The thrilling six-lap race saw Honda Racing’s John McGuinness place fourth overall, while team-mate Conor Cummins was unfortunately forced to retire.

It was a mixed race for McGuinness who, after setting off first round the 37.73-mile Mountain course, suffered with visibility issues when he lost his visor tear-offs during lap one. Coming into the first pit stop at the end of lap two, the ‘Morecambe Missile’ was still leading on the road, but a suspected problem with the fuel filler meant he and his crew lost vital time and he dropped back going into the third lap.

Over the remainder of the race, McGuinness pushed hard on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, making up time to close the gap on the leading pack. Although the second pit stop at the four-lap mark was quicker than the first, the suspected fuel filler issue still hindered progress in the pits. The Honda man eventually crossed the line fourth, 13-seconds behind the third-placed rider James Hillier.

McGuinness’s Honda Racing team-mate Cummins struggled to find pace on the opening lap, but found his rhythm on lap two, improving his times to make his way from eighth to sixth behind McGuinness by the third rotation. Unfortunately, Cummins was forced to retire at Kirk Michael on lap four with a suspected technical problem and the team is now investigating the cause.

The race was won by Bruce Anstey aboard the Padgetts Motorcycles Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.

The next outing for the Honda Racing team will be on Wednesday for an evening practice before the blue riband Senior TT race on Friday 12 June.

John McGuinness

That’s one down with the Superbike race; I set off number one and went as fast as I could. It’s going to sound like an excuse, but I lost my tear-offs at Crosby on the first lap and struggled to see where I was going, there were also a few sprinkles of rain about, which was a bit sketchy. Hillier came past me and I managed to stick with him and then re-passed him again. I came into the pits and I think we had the slowest fuel filler there! It was a nightmare; I came in in front of them, and went out six seconds behind Hillier and had to catch him back up again.

It was an eventful race, but I did my best and I’m not too disappointed finishing fourth, of course I would have loved to have stood on the podium, but I couldn’t do any more than my best, which was fourth place. We have the Senior TT at the end of the week, I’m going to sit down with the team and have a look where we can make better, and have another go on Friday!

Conor Cummins

It was a bit unfortunate we didn’t finish today, but it’s one of those things and is no one’s fault. I have every faith in my team that they’ll look into it and have things ready for Friday. I had a really weak first lap, not too sure what was going on, but I need to up my game a little bit and my first lap needs to be stronger. Overall I don’t think my lap times were too dissimilar to John’s. Mid-race I started to find my feet and I was getting stronger, but I’d made hard work for myself having to catch up.

Looking back at the race, it’s not all doom and gloom. I was happy with both the second and third laps, and the fourth was going well. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get a finish, but that’s racing and these things happen. I’m looking forward to giving it another go on Friday!

Neil Tuxworth

A fourth for John today, obviously he would have liked to have finished on the podium so he’s a little disappointed. He had a few issues losing all his tear-offs to start with, which made it very difficult for him and we seemed to have a problem with the fuel filler, which is going to be looked into by the organisers. But having said that the best he would have finished would have been third if he hadn’t had those issues. We have a few ideas to try for Wednesday night’s practice and we’re sure he’ll be a podium contender in Friday’s race.

It was disappointing for Conor, as at one stage he wasn’t that far from John and he moved up to sixth. We know he had an issue at Kirk Michael, we’re not sure what yet as the team need to look into this, but he pulled in and didn’t finish the race. We have to take the positives from today and now look forward to Friday.

© 2015 Honda Racing. IOM TT 2015

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