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Padgetts Honda's John McGuinness has vowed to stay in short circuit racing for this season and beyond, saying that so long as his results continue to improve at the next British Supersport round at Brands Hatc, he will be back in the series next year.
The multiple TT-winning rider hasn't has much success on the tracks this year but because the action is so close where half a second can cover the top 12 places, he is disheartened and will be back next year, hopefully with the Padgetts team
McGuinness said: “To be fair, right from the word go I have enjoyed it, but haven’t really finished where I wanted to be.  I wanted to be higher up in the Supersport grid. Every week you come and are just 0.6s or 0.8s off pole, but then you’re in 16th or 18th.  It’s a case of what else can I do?
“I was enjoying being on the bike and I still enjoy riding.  I just don’t like it when you are getting absolutely humped.  I feel it is unfair regards to the team.  For me I am not 18th-best and scoring a point for me isn’t good enough.  The team put a lot of effort in and I don’t want to be riding in 18th.
“I have been around for a long time and I want to justify why I am here, get the best out of the bike and team.  Cadwell was encouraging, as was Knockhill and Croft. It’s good so long as I am racing and having a dice with people and being realistic with myself.  I still want to race and it’s hard to let go, I don’t want to retire.”
McGuinness, in addition to his road racing achievements, has been riding for Padgetts Honda alongside teammate James Webb. Things are started to come together for the Morecambe rider over the past couple rounds, however he had his qualifying lap spoilt this weekend at Silverstone and had to settle for a disappointing 19th followed by 17th in the race.
He said: “We’ve been chipping away this weekend, we had a few problems with the bike but we got there.  I went out in qualifying, put in a new tyre and did a good first sector, good second sector and then someone came across me at the chicane.  You put in a lot work, you’re here all weekend and then someone messes it up.”
“It is really frustrating, if you are dithering about it’s unfair, you should move out of the way.  It is so competitive it’s unbelievable, but it is disappointing when you are capable of being top twelve, may be in the top three rows.  But when you’re on the sixth row you’ve got no chance, everybody is so good out there. To be fair the top six are out of reach at the moment they are riding so much better.”
It has certainly been a repair weekend for the team with both riders experiencing at least one crash.  It was an unusual to see McGuinness as a faller, apart from the incident at Oulton Park in which he was knocked off by another rider he hasn’t crashed from his own actions since 2006, which ironically was also at Silverstone when riding for HM Plant.
He has had a busy year with continuing to race at the TT, North West 200 and Ulster GP.  Following his senior TT win in 2008, McGuinness equalled the amount of 14 wins of legend Mike Hailwood. 
He said: “If your name is in the same paragraph as Mike Hailwood you can’t be doing too bad. I met Joey Dunlop, Hizzy [Steve Hislop], DJ [Dave Jeffries] who were all great TT riders.  I never knew Hailwood so it was like racing against a ghost. Pauline Hailwood and his son David were there and they were great.”
McGuinness has entertained all by riding numerous machines including 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and 600cc both in short circuit and road events.  He said: “Fortunately I’ve met some great people in the sport and ridden all over the world.  I like being on a bike, I make a living out of it and in all fairness I have the best job in the world.”
“I find road racing easier, but I think racing is dangerous whether you are at the North West or Cadwell Park, but there is no better feeling than going down Bray Hill at the TT at 185mph or Cadwell Mountain at 100mph”
“There are so many highlights in my career, every TT race I could right a book about it, racing against Mick Doohan, to watch the king of slide come passed at Coppice will stick in my mind forever. When I did the 130mph a lap at TT was pretty important, last week I won the Scarborough David Jeffries memorial race who was also a dear friend and that was pretty special.” 
Reviewing his 2008 short circuit season he said: “Our bikes are absolutely brilliant, I have a real good relationship with Clive [Padgett], my team mate has got raw talent and we work together to get the best out of the bike.  The bike last year was consistent and to be fair it has been this year.  I am fool to myself, I am a little bit overweight and get ribbed a bit about it."
"If I go to the gym I am unhappy and I think you under achieve then anyway, but I understand why some might get annoyed with the opportunity I have been given.  My fitness isn't an issue, it's the extra weight on the bike.  This year everything makes a difference to where you qualify such as running wide, tyres and so on."
Regarding the remaining 2008 season he said: "It would be good to get a top ten by the end of the year and finish on a bit of a high. Also I will be doing the Stars of Darley race next week, which I’ve done for the past ten or eleven years and it’s always fun.”
Hopefully continuing his treasured relationship with Padgetts McGuinness fully aims to be back in the BSB paddock next year, definitely at least for the initial part of the season in preparation for the TT in which he returns to riding for HM Plant Honda.

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