Isle of Man TT star John McGuinness has hinted at retirement after this year’s competition.
The 49-year-old, who collected an MBE for services to motorcycle racing at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, said the race in May – which he has won 23 times – could be his last.
Speaking after the ceremony, the motorsport champion told the PA news agency: “Last time I raced there I didn’t have a great TT and I didn’t want to finish my racing career on a breakdown so this, never said it before, could possibly be my last TT but I wanted to just go there with everything, you know, all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed and go and enjoy it and see where we end up.”
McGuinness, from Morecambe, Lancashire, added that riders were “a little bit nervous” about the race following a break during the pandemic.
He said: “Getting back to racing, we’re all a little bit nervous, all us riders especially.
“We did some racing through Covid but not the road racing like in the Isle of Man so we’ve all been away 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 watch, once we get there it will be flat out, it will be 200mph, we’ll be doing what we do but, you know, it’s leading up to my 100 starts – my century of starts – I’ll be 50 years old, which is probably one of the oldest on the grid, it’s 30 years of anniversary of the Honda Fireblade, which I ride, so there’s loads of little boxes being ticked.”
The racer attended the ceremony with his wife Becky and said collecting the MBE from the Princess Royal was “the icing on the cake” of his career.
He said: “I’m really pleased, proud of it really, family’s proud, kids are proud, can’t wait to get home and show it them really.”