Road racing legend John McGuinness parked up at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast this morning for his second major launch date in four days.
Lancashire rider McGuinness joined fellow North West 200 folk hero and multiple winner over the Triangle circuit, Michael Rutter, as the countdown to next May's speed spectacular begins.
Newcomer David Johnston, from Australia, flew in for a first sight of the course, already familiar to local stars in attendance, Alastair Seeley and Lee Johnston.
For McGuinness, it was a trip down the coast from the launch of a new book, ‘John McGuinness TT Legend’ by local author and photographer, Stephen Davison, in Ballymoney on Saturday.
When McGuinness was 14 years old he told his hero Joey Dunlop that he would stand beside him one day on the Isle of Man TT podium. John made that prediction come true in 1997 and went on to become Joey’s team-mate in the Vimto Honda squad in 2000. For over 10 years John has dominated the illustrious races since Joey’s death in 2000 and is the most successful living TT rider.
John has won 19 races over the past decade and is the current holder of the fastest ever TT lap at over 131 mph, securing him the name ‘Mr TT’. With the celebration of his 40th birthday this year he is chasing his hero Joey’s record of 26 TT wins.
In the new book, McGuinness talks candidly about the dangers of his sport and the tragedy of losing close friends and opens up about how he has been forced to doubt his place in the sport.
He shares the behind the-scenes story of what it takes to win a TT, personal stories and pictures of family life with his wife and children and the magic, excitement and passion he has for the sport.
Featuring over 150 of Stephen Davison’s stunning photographs alongside pictures taken from John’s private collection, including never before seen images of his childhood, the book charts every part of McGuinness’s TT career from his debut in 1996 to his most recent race in 2012.
The book is now available to buy from all good bookshops and on Amazon, published by Blackstaff Press and retailing at £17.99.