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John McGuinness proud to close in on Dunlop record

By Paul Lindsay

Published 11/06/2015

Top man: John McGuinness celebrates winning the Zero TT on the Mugen Shinden at TT 2015 with runner-up Bruce Anstey and third-placed Lee Johnston
Top man: John McGuinness celebrates winning the Zero TT on the Mugen Shinden at TT 2015 with runner-up Bruce Anstey and third-placed Lee Johnston

John McGuinness edged ever closer to Joey Dunlop's all-time record of 26 Isle of Man TT wins after taking his 22nd career victory at the June showpiece in yesterday's one-lap SES TT Zero Challenge.

The Morecambe man was close to the magical 120mph mark on his Team Mugen machine at 119.279mph, which afforded him a four-second triumph over team-mate Bruce Anstey. Fermanagh's Lee Johnston was third on the American Victory set-up.

McGuinness said afterwards: "I remember watching Hizzy (Steve Hislop) on a grass bank with my wife back in 1983 when he did the first 120mph on the Honda, so we are not a million miles away from that.

"When we first started coming here on these bikes you could take it all in, but the place is beginning to narrow a bit at the speeds we are doing now."

Kiwi Anstey was the early leader on the second of the Team Mugen machines, but McGuinness explained that he had chosen the wrong map setting on his battery-powered machine in the opening miles.

"Once I got sorted I saw plus five on my pit board at Ramsey but knew Bruce was coming and I had to really scratch those last few miles, and with the form Bruce is in at this TT, I was pleased with that," said McGuinness.

Anstey, who won Sunday's RST Superbike race to take him onto 10 TT wins, was delighted with second and paid tribute to his team-mate.

"I battled him all the way, but he got the better of me. The Mugen bike is a joy to ride and it's like riding a 250 really," said the 46-year-old. "It may be a little bit heavier but it's a pleasure to ride."

Johnston made it consecutive podiums at this TT, backing up his fine performance in Tuesday's Superstock race by giving the Victory team a TT Zero podium on their debut at the Manx event.

The quirky Maguiresbridge lad, who lapped at 111.62mph, said afterwards: "I'm over the moon to put the Victory bike on the podium. It's their first time here so full credit to the lads."

Guy Martin, who stepped in as a favour to William Dunlop, whose TT ended prematurely after a crash earlier this week, finished fourth for the Victory team with a lap of 109.717mph, with Robert Wilson the fifth and final finisher on the Team Sarolea Racing machine with a lap of 106.510mph.

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