A downcast John McGuinness is in a fitness battle to be at his imperious best for the upcoming Isle of Man TT races.
The Honda Racing rider has been struggling at the North West 200 as he recovers from a broken scaphoid suffered in a pre-season training accident on his enduro bike.
The 42-year-old from Morecambe qualified 15th in the Superbike class, 12th on the Superstock machine and ninth on the Padgett’s Honda Supersport machine at the Triangle meeting.
He sat out Thursday’s races to rest his wrist and admits he has found the going tough.
McGuinness, who made his debut at the North West 200 two decades ago in 1994, said: “I feel safe and I have to build the wrist up and I didn’t expect to turn up and be at the sharp end straight away.
“There are a lot of heavy braking points at the North West and I just can’t brake as hard as I need to. Come Saturday if I can’t brake as much as I want to then I’ll just get out of everyone’s way and use the time as a bit of a test for the TT,” he added.
“When the cast came off I was a bit worried because I had no movement, so to be here is a bonus really.”
McGuinness claimed his 20th TT win in the Senior last year and set a new outright lap record at 131.67mph.
He is joined in the Honda Racing team this year by Conor Cummins, who is making his debut on the Fireblade SP at the North West.