John McGuinness recovered from a poor start to battle his way into the points over the closing two laps of the Snetterton round of the National 1000cc Superstock Championship – but the Morecambe star says he is 'slightly annoyed' with himself.
The Padgetts Honda rider was lying 15th and out of the points with just two laps to go, but dug deep in the closing stages to move up the order and into the points. Five points for 11th place were enough to maintain his ninth position in the championship chase.
The weekend started steadily for 15-times Isle of Man TT winner when he placed 10th in Friday's solitary free practice session. He improved his time by almost a second in the opening qualifying session to slot in to 9ninth place, but any chance of improving on that disappeared on Saturday when the second qualifying session was cancelled due to problems with the track surface at the Russell's chicane. Instead, another free practice session was held and, with a lap of 1m07.987s, McGuinness ended 7th quickest although still having to start from the third row of the grid.
On Sunday, McGuinness was lying 10th when the 18-lap race was halted, the red flag being shown because of a number of crashes. The race was reduced to 14 laps and re-started, but McGuinness didn't get away well, falling back to 12th after two laps.
On lap six he was pushed back to 13th when Jonathan Howarth moved by. There was a terrific five-man battle for 11th, with positions changing hands on numerous occasions, and McGuinness was shuffled to the back of the pack with only two laps remaining.
However, he overtook Howarth and Michael Booth on successive laps and with Lee Costello making a mistake in the closing stages he took the chequered flag in 12th place. This became 11th after a post-race inspection found fifth placed Scott Smart's bike to be underweight.
“It was a tough race and I'm just slightly annoyed with myself for not getting a good start. I had good pace, good enough to run in the top seven, but I was just a bit tardy off the line and it meant I was in the 11th-15th group rather than the group in front of that.”
“I was a bit weak at Sear's and also Russell's, probably the two most important corners on the track, and that meant I was losing a bit of time along the straights, but I kept plugging away and managed to pick a few off towards the end of the race to get up to 12th.”
“I need to get the starts right though as I know I can run in the top eight consistently if I get away with the front group, so I'll be looking to put that right next time out. I love the Brands GP circuit and it suits me down to the ground so I'm confident of giving the team a good result there.”