Glenn Irwin claims fastest newcomer lap, while John McGuinness MBE celebrates 100th TT start

Race Report
The Honda Racing UK team enjoyed an excellent start to TT race week with fifth and eighth places for John McGuinness MBE and Glenn Irwin, respectively, in the RST Superbike TT Race today. Both riders, riding the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Superbike, were in the thick of the action, inside the top 10, posting impressive 129mph lap times. Finishing in eighth Glenn was the highest placed newcomer, on his last lap setting a new outright newcomers lap record (129.85mph).

The race ran under near-cloudless blue skies and the warmest temperature seen since the beginning of qualifying (16ºC). Getting underway shortly after midday, John was the first rider on the course, riding with the number one plate on his special '100th TT' liveried Fireblade, to celebrate his 100th TT Race start. 

John repeated his excellent form from qualifying, consistently lapping at 128mph to 129mph, climbing from 10th (after lap one) through to fourth place after three laps. John held on to fourth place until the second refuel when rival Ian Hutchinson snuck ahead. John closed the gap to just 1.5-seconds with a lap to go but 'Hutchy' held on to the finish. John and the team were nonetheless very happy with his result, and to have been knocking on a podium finish after a layoff of so many years, on a new machine, is an impressive result.

Glenn was holding 11th place after his first lap, just behind John. Also posting 128mph laps, Glenn also climbed the leaderboard to be placed sixth at mid distance. For a while Glenn was caught in a heated three-way dice (on time) with James Hillier and Jamie Coward. Posting the fastest ever newcomers' lap of 129.85mph on his final lap Glenn finished in an impressive eighth place in his debut TT race. For a newcomer to be dicing with the cream of TT talent, setting the times he did, has been a stunning performance.

The Honda Racing UK team will return to the TT Mountain Course on Monday 6 June for the four-lap RL360 Superstock TT. 


#1 John McGuinness MBE

I'm so happy with the result today. To be back here on the Fireblade and with this team has been like coming home, I'm so grateful to Harv (Havier Beltran – team manager) for bringing me back into the team. And at the end of the day it's my 100th start, it's been a wonderful day celebrating that with my family, the team and the fans. I've never seen so many on the course, and they're all waving. It's been special.

It's also been serious. I'm on a Superbike and there's no getting away from it, they're hard to ride, seriously powerful things. Before the start we figured to bring it home in the top six would be a realistic result, so it's good to do that, although I can't deny I feel I let the team down a bit. There again I know my limits, you have to bring it home.

Also, I have to doff my cap to my teammate, Glenn. That was an incredible result, and to lap at nearly 130mph in your first race, he's a special talent!

#22 Glenn Irwin

That was an amazing day. Before the start I felt a lot of nerves, I was quite emotional! I've never felt like that before. But once I got going I felt really good. I think I probably respected the bike too much when it was on new tyres and full fuel load on laps one, three and five – but I think it's important to do that.

After the second pit stop I could see that the gap to James Hillier had grown too much so I concentrated on hitting my marks, although I was also watching the crowds, there were so many on the course, waving – I really wanted to wave back!

I'm thrilled to get that newcomers' lap record. In my head it was always a possibility, but I didn't expect to achieve it so soon. I didn't expect the laps to fly by so quick, too. I remember starting lap two, thinking no way was I here already. It was all really enjoyable, and hats off to Hicky, Dean and Michael. The guys here are on another level.

I'm really proud of my teammate as well. We had a good chat before the race and another afterwards. Not only was that his 100th TT but he proved he's still so fast, and consistent. That was an impressive result. I also want to thank the team, they've been brilliant. And special thanks to Harv, he's brought Honda Racing UK back to this level. I know there's been a lot of effort, a lot of pressure on him in achieving what we have in BSB and now here, so he gets a huge pat on the back from me for what we as a team together have achieved.

International Road Racing

Isle of Man TT Races, RST Superbike TT Race

Pos. Name No. Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Peter Hickman 10 Gas Monkey Garage by FHO Racing BMW 01:43:58.544
2 Dean Harrison 5 DAO Racing Kawasaki 01:44:37.744
3 Michael Dunlop 6 Hawk Racing Suzuki 01:44:56.171
4 Ian Hutchinson 4 Milwaukee BMW Motorrad BMW 01:46:56.628
5 John McGuinness MBE 1 Honda Racing UK Honda 01:47:07.411
6 Jamie Coward 36 KTS Racing by Steadplan Yamaha 01:47:07.849
7 James Hillier 37 RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha 01:47:33.288
8 Glenn Irwin 22 Honda Racing UK Honda 01:47:40.140
9 Shaun Anderson 19 Crendon Suzuki by Hawk Racing Suzuki 01:48:29.935
10 Dom Herbertson 16 Haith BMW 01:49:00.109
11 Michael Rutter 3 Bathams Racing BMW 01:49:00.613
12 Nathan Harrison 28 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Honda 01:50:05.457