Morecambe’s John McGuinness finished his injury-interrupted 2014 road racing season at the weekend with a satisfying seventh place at the Macau Grand Prix.
Riding the Pirtek Pro Bolt Honda, the 21-times TT winner came through from tenth on the grid to claim his 15th top ten finish around the 3.8-mile Armco-lined course.
The 42-year old was having his first outing since taking third overall in last month’s Stars at Darley meeting and the week started well when he placed a strong fifth in the opening qualifying session.
McGuinness went quicker still in Friday's second and final session, reducing his lap time by eight tenths of a second to 2m29.986s, but a number of his rivals improved by over two seconds and the end result was that he found himself bumped back to tenth overall.
It all meant he would have to start Saturday's 12-lap race from the fourth row of the grid. Riding the CBR1000RR machine ridden this season in the British Superbike Championship by Peter Hickman, a solid start by McGuinness saw him complete the opening lap in ninth place and for the next few laps he was locked in battle with BMW riders Jimmy Storrar and Steve Mercer.
By half race distance, he’d moved up to seventh as he overtook Mercer just as Storrar retired and it was here where he took the chequered flag for yet another strong Macau GP finish.
“I’ve been coming to Macau since 1998 and whilst I’ve won before and stood on the podium a number of times, I’m satisfied with the result this year. It’s an incredibly demanding course, both physically and mentally, and also very technical so it’s all about being in the groove and finding a good rhythm,” he said.
“Everyone else out there has had a full season of racing under their belts so it was always going to be difficult for me given the little track time I’ve had due to my wrist injury but I couldn’t fault how the race went. The bike went well, I felt strong and competitive and enjoyed myself so a big thanks to everyone in the team for all their hard work.”