Classic TT: John McGuinness clinches Senior victory on Winfield Paton

John McGuinness celebrates his victory in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT with runner-up Dean Harrison (left) and Maria Costello.

John McGuinness celebrates his victory in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT with runner-up Dean Harrison (left) and Maria Costello.

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Morecambe Missile John McGuinness finally broke his duck at the Classic TT to claim victory in the Bennetts Senior race on Roger Winfield’s Paton.

The 44-year-old opted to make his scheduled pit stop at the end of lap three and the strategy paid off, with McGuinness sealing victory by 21.4 seconds over last year’s winner Dean Harrison on the Black Eagle MV Agusta.

Maria Costello earned her maiden rostrum at the event with a terrific ride to third place on the Beugger Paton, finishing more than three minutes behind after four laps of the Mountain Course.

McGuinness also set a new lap record for the class at 113.342mph, which was also the first sub 20-minute lap on a Classic 500 machine. He also blitzed the race record by a huge 57.5 seconds to set a new time of 1h 21m 10.189s.

“I just love riding around the track and it’s been so frustrating over the last few years, not just for me but for Roger and the whole team who puts hours and hours of work in,” said McGuinness.

“I really enjoyed it and we made a change to the gearing for the race, which was the right way. It’s a beautiful day out there and a massive thanks to all the marshals and fans around the course.”

There was little to choose between McGuinness and Harrison on the opening two laps, with Harrison actually opening a lead of 1.1 seconds at Ramsey Hairpin on lap two, but McGuinness’s decision to race straight through into his third lap proved decisive and he had opened an unassailable advantage of 21 seconds at Glen Helen on the fourth and final lap after his fuel stop.

Michael Dunlop (Black Eagle MV Agusta) and William Dunlop on the Davies Motorsport Honda were non-starters.

Jamie Coward (Ted Woof Norton), Alan Oversby (Davies Motorsport Honda) and Dominic Herbertson (Honda) were the top six.

Michael Rutter was among the retirements on the Ripley Land Seeley, pulling in at the pits at the end of lap two when he held fourth behind Costello.

Ian Lougher and Conor Cummins were also forced out early on the opening lap at Union Mills and Quarry Bends respectively.