Morecambe’s John McGuinness concluded his 2012 short circuit campaign in fine style at Brands Hatch on Sunday when he took eighth place in the final round of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship.
Riding the Padgetts Honda, McGuinness was in good form around the 2.43-mile Grand Prix circuit all weekend and with good conditions on all three days at the Kent venue, tenth place in qualifying showed that he was riding extremely well. Indeed, he was only 0.7s adrift of the pole position time set by team-mate Adam Jenkinson.
A brilliant start to the 16-lap race saw John complete the first lap in sixth place and although he was pushed back to ninth place by lap six, he was less than two seconds behind race leader and new Champion Keith Farmer. With a ferocious pace being set, there was little to choose between the leading 12 riders but at half race distance, the safety car was deployed due to an accident and positions remained the same for the next four laps. When racing resumed, there were just four laps and John moved back up the order to claim eighth at the chequered flag, still only 2.7s behind Farmer.
Speaking afterwards, a pleased John said; “That’s just the kind of race I wanted this weekend and it’s a good way to end the year. I always enjoy riding the GP circuit at Brands and with some fine weather, I got stuck in from the start and was as high as fifth in qualifying before being pushed back to tenth in the closing stages. I felt strong going into the race and got an absolutely blinding start and from there on in, it was flat out racing all the way to the flag. I’ve finished in the top ten a few times during 2012 but have been a bit disappointed at the gaps to the leaders but today, I was right with them.”
“I’d liked to have finished higher, of course I would, but to be so close to the race winner – and Champion – shows I’m riding as well as ever and I’m delighted with the result. The Padgetts team again worked brilliantly all weekend so a big thank you to them and I can now look forward to Macau and my final race of the year.”
John’s final outing this year comes at next month’s Macau Grand Prix where he’ll line up for the SMT Racing Honda team once more. The event takes place from November 15-17.
Picture by Glynne Lewis