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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 328 > THE MAGIC OF MCGUINNESS


Prior to his big crash at the North West 200, TT legend John McGuinness took the time to give Boothy some IOM pointers…


When I wrote to Jim’ll Fix It for a lap around the TT course, a lack of response clearly indicated that I wasn’t his type. But TT legend John McGuinness must have taken a shine to me, because he was dead keen to take me out for a spin around the place.

The IOM TT course is 37.7 miles long and I know first-hand how difficult it is to learn; this time last year I was coming over once a month for a weekend at a time and doing nothing but lap, after lap, after lap. This was in preparation for my debut TT start. My fififirst TT experience went well, everything went to plan. Danny Tomlinson Racing gave me a Honda CBR 600 RR and a BMW S 1000 RR neither of which missed a beat, we had beautiful weather the entire fortnight, got five race finishes nailed and clocked a 122.6mph lap – nice!

That said, the front boys are lapping a good 10mph faster and while I can think of a few areas to improve, I cannot comprehend how it’s possible to go that fucking fast! So my plan was to take McGuinness on the lap, ask him hundreds of questions, download as much of it as I can into my thick skull and vomit it back out onto the pages of Fast Bikes magazine.

As we set off from the Grandstand in the soggy Manx weather I wondered how I could possibly ask McPint all the questions that I wanted to without sounding like a pestering schoolboy. I decided I couldn’t, so I just had to embrace my inner schoolboy and fire away, so I asked how did he start a TT race?

“To go fast you have got to race every bit of the track” said John, “The old style was to go steady away at the start and then build into it but if you want to win a TT nowadays, every metre of this track has got to be raced. Hard… You can’t be weak anywhere. You have got to be sharp and on it.

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