Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 27th March 2018

Rider Of The Week looks at a famous motorcyclist who’s demonstrated their talent on a regular basis. Since he started his career, John McGuinness has been one of the greatest riders of his generation, racking up a total score of 23 Isle of Man TT race wins.


Early life

Born in Morecambe in 1972, McGuinness grew up around motorbikes. His father owned a repair shop, though McGuinness was encouraged to be a bricklayer. He graduated in 1990, but the recession forced McGuinness to take up cockle fishing. McGuinness never stopped thinking about motorbikes and looked for a way to compete.


Racing career

At the age of 18, McGuinness had his first race at Aintree. He built on his momentum over the years, eventually entering his first TT in 1996 and finished in 15th place. Three years later he captured his first win in the Lightweight 250cc race. Around this time, McGuinness established himself as a champion short circuit racer. In 1999, he continued to be successful by winning the British championship.

The 2000s proved to be a great decade for McGuinness, such as the TT 2006. He won the Senior, Superbike and Supersport races and he lowered the outright lap record four times during the festival. His record lap was 127.933 mph in the 37.73 mile Mountain course. In 2007, McGuinness won the Superbike and Senior TT.  

In 2010, McGuinness joined the HM Plant Honda team for the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.  By 2011, McGuinness had tallied up 16 TT wins and he showed no signs of slowing down. At the end of 2012, McGuinness raised his tally to 19. In the same year he debuted in the TT Zero class.

In May 2017, McGuinness had been practicing for the North West 200 when he suffered a serious accident. He came away with damaged ribs and compound fractures in his legs. Surgeons were required to remove 2 inches of bone and ‘grow’ new bone in its place. McGuinness has been rehabbing since and getting back to riding fitness. He also released his autobiography, Built for Speed, which gives an insight into his life.


McGuinness’ tenacity is to be admired and it’s a testament to his skill that he continues to move forward in his quest to return to the track.



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