John McGuinness MBE ‘Over 131 at 51’

Conditions throughout the week have remained picture-perfect and as the track progressively rubbered in, lap times tumbled and average speeds rose to dizzying heights. Aboard his Fireblade, John McGuinness MBE built through practice week nicely to become the only ever rider in their fifties to lap the infamous ‘Mountain Course’ at an average speed in excess of 131 mph.

The 2023 Isle of Man TT Races roared into life on Monday 29th May and riders up and down the paddock wasted no time to fire frighteningly fast lap times onto the timing screens. John used the opening qualifying session to back-to-back test two Superbike spec Fireblades, with the second entered as a T-Bike. On just his first flying lap of the session, he lapped at an average speed of 129.398 mph, to go quicker than he did during the entire 2022 event. 

More focused and better prepared due to a comprehensive testing program and regular outings in the British Superstock championship, John has worked attentively through his TT practice program during the opening five qualifying sessions. As a result, come Qualifying Three, John once more found himself lapping in excess of 130 mph with a lap of 17:24.548 at an average speed of 130.035 mph, his first lap over this speed barrier since 2016. The first time that he broke this remarkable speed barrier with which he is so closely associated was back in 2007.

This, however, would prove not to be John’s quickest lap of the meeting. During the final qualifying session of the week - held earlier in the day without the distraction of the setting sun - he would lap in 17:16.832 (131.003mph), his quickest ever lap of the mountain course on this current model Fireblade. This lap on combined times places him sixth, whilst his quickest Superstock lap, 128.821 mph, sees him in tenth.

John heads into race week looking incredibly sharp and as hungry as ever to add to his remarkable tally of 23 wins and 47 podiums at the event with which he is renowned. 

Elsewhere in the TT paddock, Michael Dunlop reached speeds never seen before on the island with a stunning 135.531 mph lap aboard his Hawk Racing Fireblade to set a blisteringly quick unofficial lap record. 

Race week commences for the Honda Racing team with the first 6-lap RST Superbike Race on Sunday 4th June. 

#1 John McGuinness MBE

We are in the mix, we are improving, and you can’t do a right lot more in your life than improve! And we are having the headline ‘no one has been over 131 at 51!’ 

The package has been mint, the boys have been great and we are all on the same page, we are here enjoying it and having a good time. I also hate to say it but Harv is right. He’s right with his food and he’s right with the hydration. We get one go a year at this and you sit there in winter and it’s raining and it’s miserable and you just want to make a good fist of it when you get here. If it’s 131 or 132 when you are here and you are third then brilliant. But if you get here and you are hanging and you haven't prepared it takes a long time to get over it. I was swilling last year’s TT in my head for quite a bit. You have got to take these chances, one day I won't be able to do it and it will be a big old hole to fill.

This year, I have prepared and I am feeling good. The Superbike is feeling really good and we are in a good place, everything is positive, everyone is smiling. We’re ready to go racing. 
131.003 mph

International Road Racing 2023

Isle of Man TT, Combined Qualifying - Superbike

Combined Qualifying - Superbike

International Road Racing 2023

Isle of Man TT, Combined Qualifying - Superstock

Combined Qualifying - Superstock