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TT legend John McGuinness hurt in crash at NW200

By Staff Reporter

Road racing legend John McGuinness suffered a suspected broken leg in a crash while qualifying at the North West 200 yesterday.

The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner came off his Honda during the second superbike qualifying session, shortly after the finish line between Portstewart and Portrush.

McGuinness has won the second highest number of races at the TT after Joey Dunlop, whose tally of 26 victories remains untouched.

The 45 year-old was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by ambulance, and he was accompanied by his wife, Becky.

The Morecambe man was reported to be conscious and alert following the accident, race organisers said.

A statement that was released by the North West 200 organisers read: "Honda Racing's John McGuinness crashed at Primrose corner during the Superbike practice session at the Vauxhall International North West 200 today.

"The 45 year-old Morecambe rider, who is a six-times winner at the event, has been taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, by ambulance with a suspected broken leg."

With McGuinness now a serious doubt for the Isle of Man TT next month and fan favourite Guy Martin well off the pace at the North West - Martin failed to break the top 20 in supersport qualifying and managed only 19th overall on his superbike - Honda face a big decision over whether to replace McGuinness with another rider.

Yesterday proved a very tough day for the Honda Racing squad after Martin suffered an accident in the morning's superstock qualifying session.

The television presenter and returning Lincolnshireman went off at the Magherabuoy chicane and clipped a barrier.

He was shown a black flag at the Metropole in Portrush when he attempted to continue as officials needed to check for damage to his Fireblade.

Talking to the BBC later, Martin said: "I didn't crash, but I let go of the handlebars and kind of laid it on its side, then they wouldn't let me go.

"I got going again, there was nothing wrong with the bike, but they gave me a black flag at the Metropole, so I sat and had a cup of tea."

Last night, Honda Racing decided to pull Martin out of the Superstock competition while they analysed McGuinness's machine to find out the reasons for the crash which put him in hospital.

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