John McGuinness hints at retirement after Isle of Man TT

Isle of Man TT star John McGuinness has hinted at his retirement after this year’s competition.

The 49-year-old, who was awarded an MBE on Tuesday for his services to motorcycle racing at Windsor Castle, said May’s race – which he has won 23 times – could be his last.

Speaking after the ceremony, the motorsport champion told PA news agency: “Last time I raced there I didn’t have a big TT and didn’t want to finish my racing career on a breakdown so this i’ve never said this before maybe could be my last TT but i just wanted to go with everything you know all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed out and go enjoy it and see where we end up.

McGuinness, from Morecambe, Lancashire, added that runners were “a bit nervous” about racing after a break during the pandemic.

He said: “Going back to racing, we are all a bit nervous, all of us drivers in particular.

“We did a few races through Covid but not the road races like on the Isle of Man so we were all out for two years.

“The bikes are getting faster, none of us have been there so we’re all nervous, there’s a lot of anticipation but, you look, once we get there it’ll be flat, it’ll be 200 mph , we’re going to do what we do but, you know, that leads into my 100 starts – my century of starts – I’ll be 50, which is probably one of the oldest on the grid, it’s the 30th anniversary of the Honda Fireblade, which I ride, so there are plenty of little boxes ticked.

The racer attended the ceremony with his wife Becky and said collecting the Princess Royal’s MBE was “the icing on the cake” of his career.

He said: “I’m really happy, really proud, the family is proud, the kids are proud, I can’t wait to come home and really show it to them.”

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