Rain meant that it was going to be a very busy day.
Five TT races were scheduled, we had our work cut out to try to shoehorn some time to spend with John and get the footage for the documentary.
It was an early start. A very early start for us. I’m not a morning person usually but you have to be when you are here. You also have to be a night owl too. Not the best combo.
I had not realised before we embarked on this trip just how long the days would be. But i’ll be honest, with this group of people making the documentary and with such an interesting subject to work with this doesn’t really feel like work.
The Honest Man
One thing I have come to realise about John is that he is the same man whether the cameras are rolling or not.
It is refreshing to see someone open up about themselves, when you add that this is right in the middle of the event they have spent two whole years preparing for.
Putting it into context for you injury then weather issues would irritate me and I’m certainly no athlete. But for a professional, a legend really, to remain the as relaxed as John was is an impressive thing.
Listening to the him talk about his injury, the recovery, the return and most importantly his family life was just a lovely thing to have been part of.
As I mentioned previously they are just a normal family who experience extraordinary things due to John’s career. To hear just how important they are to him and how they helped get him back here made me grateful for what I have with my family.
Listening to John recount his injuries, severe injuries too, and seeing just how supportive everyone was for him to return – I don’t know if i would have had the strength. more over I know for certain my mum would never allow me near a bike again.
But that is the McGuinness family I have seen, the most important team John has ever had during his career.
Back On The Podium
I remember John showing us around the paddock for his Mugen TT Zero bike. I still find it fascinating that he will be riding for three different teams across the different TT classes. It is rare that you find that sort of fluidity in sport.
The way he was describing the bike was no different to the regular bikes. However the smirk when describing th sound of the engine stuck with me. Everyone seems to be making electric cars art the moment but you don’t tend to hear about electric bikes, less so for speed demons.
I find this the hardest to describe of all I have experienced whilst being at the TT. These bikes are not exactly slow. The still fly past at over 100mph A blink and you’ll miss it.
The only truly remarkable difference is the distinct lack of sound. Whilst with the petrol engine you can hear the gentle hum of the engine even in the distance, the pre-cursor to the exhilarating engine roar as it zips past.
But the subtle zip of these electric engines has it’s own charm. I can only imagine what the riders feel when riding one as they don’t have the soundtrack they are used to.
But these babies can fly. It was nice to see John come away with a podium in this race. A reward after his time away from the sport he loves.
What I also found quite a nice touch is that when it came to the new technology it was the old boys who came out on top.
Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
The podium was nice, but you can tell John has had his eyes firmly set on the Senior TT. The showpiece event.
There’s a glint in his eyes. He believes that he is a little off the pace and hasn’t had the laps he would have liked to. But sitting and speaking with him, I wouldn’t put anything past him right now.