The “Missile Morecambe”, John McGuinness is a legendary English biker from the Isle of Man TT. Born April 16, 1972 in Morecambe, Lancashire, England, McGuinness has always been around bikes because his father owned a motorcycle repair shop. However, after graduating in 1990 and due to the recession, McGuinness would be forced to shellfish with the man who would later become her stepfather. He also got his first taste of racing in 1990, during an endurance road race in Aintree, at the age of 18.
McGuinness has competed in several road races like the North West 200 and the Macau Grand Prix. In addition, he competed in the MotoGP World Championship between 1997 and 2000. However, his greatest achievements in motorsport are in the Isle of Man TT, the world’s most dangerous racing event, making its debut in the world. event in 1996 and finishing 15th. McGuinness’s motorcycling career spanned approximately 25 long years, and his accomplishments during that time are nothing short of legendary. Check out these unique details about the iconic rider.
Married his childhood sweetheart
One woman has been by McGuinness’s side throughout the long years of his piloting career, and that is his wife, Becky. The two were childhood sweethearts who have been together since their teenage years. However, by all indications, the race was more important to the lovebirds than marriage, with Becky accompanying her on all of her runs.
Eventually, they tied the knot in 2012 after Becky’s father, out of fear of dying of cancer, urged them to marry while he was alive. They have two children, Ewan and Maisie.
Won the Best Newcomer award in debut
Sometimes you can tell how great an athlete would become by their first performance. And any pundits who could have predicted great fortunes for McGuinness from his debut performance will feel justified today.
McGuinness’ debut at TT in 1996 was a blast. So good that he received the award for best newcomer. However, it took him three years after his debut to clinch his first TT victory in the 250 lightweight category.
Confronted his racing idol
Sports personalities often have people who inspired them to take up the profession, people they admire in their formative years. Their idols. For McGuinness, that person was the legendary North Irish motorcyclist Joey Dunlop. At 14, McGuinness bought a photo of Joey so he could meet him for an autograph, at the 1986 TT.
While Joey signed, McGuinness told him that they would one day be on the podium together. Years later, the dream has come true. McGuinness had five years of competition against Joey, from 1996 to 2000.
First to cross the 130 mph average speed barrier
The average speed of 130 mph had been a hindrance for TT racers for years, as none could surpass it. However, in 2007 McGuinness achieved the feat in a record breaking performance that saw him win the Isle of Man senior TT race.
The Morecambe missile broke the record in the second round with an average speed of 130.354 mph and a record total run time of 1 hour 46 minutes 44 seconds. Unbelievable!
He is a free man
Free men in the UK are people who have been awarded the title of “freedom of the city”. It is an honor bestowed upon valued members of a community, or a visiting dignitary or celebrity. The origin of honor dates back to medieval times, when respected citizens were freed from serfdom.
The practice is also observed in the United States, Canada and some other countries. In 2007, McGuinness was awarded Freedom from the Town of Morecambe.
Broken 4 vertebrae and 3 ribs in an accident
In 2017, while training for Superbike racing at the North West 200 event in Northern Ireland, McGuiness crashed and suffered multiple injuries. The preliminary report of the accident revealed that McGuinness had sustained a broken leg.
However, later reports show that the legendary runner had broken four vertebrae, three back ribs and also fractured his leg. The unfortunate incident ruled McGuinness out of the Isle of Man TT for the 2017 season.
Second most successful TT driver of all time
Inaugurated in 1907, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) races are annual motorcycle races that take place on the Isle of Man, mainly between May and June of the year. Notably, the event is considered by many to be the most dangerous race in the world, with more than 150 deaths in its 114-year history. It’s such a shame that finishing a TT race is even considered a victory in itself.
Therefore, having to not only finish countless times, but win 23 times, McGuinness is undoubtedly a TT icon, and he is the most successful TT rider after his hero Joey.
He wrote a book
In 2017, McGuiness published a book called “Built for Speed”. Autobiography, the 320-page book chronicles McGuiness’s career. He detailed all the events of his early club racing days with bikes below the current elite level.
Additionally, in the book, McGuiness described how he grew up in Morecambe and how he got his first bike at just 3 years old. , yet he couldn’t stop.
Has an honorary scholarship
In UK universities, an honorary scholarship is often awarded to people in certain industries that the institutions would like to recognize and with which they collaborate. Some of the UK schools that award honorary scholarships include Imperial College London, London School of Economics, Queen Mary College London, as well as Myerscough College.
In 2017, Myerscough College awarded McGuinness an honorary scholarship “in recognition of his exceptional courage and achievement in the field of racing motorcycles.”
Awarded with an MBE
One of the highest honors in the British ranks, the MBE is ranked fifth in the classes of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The history of these honors dates back to the time of King George V who founded the Order to plug the holes in the British honor system.
These honors are given to individuals in recognition of their contribution to the arts and sciences, to charity and to public service. In 2021, McGuinness received an MBE for his motorcycle racing services.
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