After missing out in the previous four solo races during the week-long Isle of Man TT festival, acknowledged “King of the Mountain” John McGuinness finally put it all together to win the prestigious Senior TT race. McGuinness’ victory brings his total TT tally up to 20 wins, with Friday’s race putting him at six Senior TT wins, in addition to 41 podium finishes, the most in Isle of Man TT history. In winning the Senior TT, McGuinness prevented Honda TT Legends teammate Michael Dunlop from sweeping all five solo races for the week, with Dunlop winning the Superbike race on Sunday June 2, followed by the first Supersport race and Superstock races on Monday, and the second Supersport race on Thursday.
Michael Dunlop won four out...
Michael Dunlop won four out of five solo races at the 2013 Isle of Man TT races, only getting beat in the Senior TT by John McGuinness.
Dunlop—who is the nephew of the legendary Joey Dunlop—was the dominant rider over the IOM TT race week, leading all of the practice and qualifying sessions for all the classes he was entered in. His victories in the Superbike race, both Supersport races, and the Superstock race were all but decided on the first lap when he grabbed the lead in each one, and the Ballymoney native set a new lap record for the Supersport class in the second race with a 128.667 mph lap, and a new lap record in the Superstock race with a stunning average speed of 131.220 mph.
But McGuinness was on his game for the Senior TT, even when the race was red-flagged on the first lap for a nasty accident on the wide-open-redline-in-sixth-gear Bray Hill section. Rider Jonathan Howarth reportedly lost the rear end momentarily just after cresting the hill, causing a rear-end swap that ultimately resulted in a high-speed crash that saw his Kawasaki smash into a wall and disintegrate, with pieces of the bike flying up into a crowd of spectators. Howarth reportedly managed to somehow slide down the road without hitting anything, eventually slamming into a lamppost at reduced speed and miraculously emerging unharmed. Ten spectators were eventually taken to the hospital, with “injuries ranging from slight to serious but not life threatening. Four of the spectators have been discharged, five of the injured have been kept in hospital and one remains under observation in the emergency department,” according to a statement from TT organizers ACU Events Ltd.
Despite not getting a win...
Despite not getting a win in the first five races he was entered in at the Isle of Man TT, John McGuinness put it together when he had to for the Senior TT.
On the restart, McGuinness found himself down as far as fifth on the first lap, but he soon found his stride on the second lap as he edged past leader Dunlop and built up a 2.4 second lead by the time he dived into the pits for the first of his two stops. Some slick pitwork by the Honda TT Legends crew got McGuinness out with even more of a lead, and he soon built on that in the next two laps leading up to the second pit stop. By the end of the fifth lap, McGuinness had a 10.4-second lead, and he held that advantage to the finish. Dunlop was a secure second, with veteran Kiwi Bruce Anstey taking third.
“If there’s one race to win, it’s the Senior,” said McGuinness after his sixth Senior TT win. “I’ve had a good week but a win’s escaped me so to do it today with the sun shining and thousands of fans waving me on all the way is brilliant. The conditions were incredible, the bike was fantastic and with two superb pit stops we got the job done. I still feel really sharp and I hit all my apexes on the final lap.”
When it was suggested that the 41-year-old might be calling it a career with this year’s TT, McGuinness replied, “I hope not. The feeling I’ve got now, I’m absolutely buzzing. I never thought I’d be sat here at 41 winning my 20th TT when I first watched the bikes go ‘round a long time ago when I was a youngster. Always wanted to be a TT winner and here we are with 20. It’s fantastic.
“As long as Honda and few really good people around me in the racing game—the Padgett family, Neil Tuxworth, Honda—as long as they have faith in me again and put good bikes underneath me next year, I’ll keep coming back and give it a go, why not? It’s what I’ve always done and I love doing it.”
"The race was good, the conditions were good, the track was good, it was just a pity about that first stop,” said Dunlop about his race. “I'm happy enough, the job was good and John rode very well. I enjoyed riding the big bike round here. I thought the pace would be better and the lap record would go but that's probably due to track temperature.”
"I had John in sight at the beginning, but I got caught up with a couple of backmarkers at the wrong place at the wrong time and that's the way it went. I'm just glad John won because he'd been crying all week…even the electric race he cried about, and that was riding the Duracell,” joked Dunlop to laughter in the press room. “No, John rode well and came out fighting. Four in a week, I'm a happy camper…better than a kick in the balls, so I’m happy.”
2013 Isle of Man TT Senior TT results:
1. John McGuinness (Honda) 01:45:20.394
2. Michael Dunlop (Honda) 01:45:30.486
3. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 01:45:37.999
4. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 01:45:38.977
5. Guy Martin (Suzuki) 01:46:14.371
6. Michael Rutter (Honda) 01:46:35.167
7. William Dunlop (Yamaha) 01:47:11.428
8. Dean Harrison (Kawasaki) 01:48:42.322
9. Dan Stewart (Honda) 01:49:28.127
10. David Johnson (Kawasaki) 01:49:34.111