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McGuinness seals provisional front row start on NW200 return

'I was a bit nervous heading out after missing the event last year, but as soon as I got out there... I really enjoyed it' - John McGuinness
John McGuinness admits he was feeling slightly nervous ahead of the opening practice session at the Relentless International North West 200.

However, the 17-times Isle of Man rider needn't have worried as he quickly got to grips with the 8.9-mile public roads circuit in Northern Ireland after missing the event in 2011 due to a date clash with an Endurance World Championship round.

"It's been a really good first day. We were lucky with the weather as there was a heavy hailstorm just before the sessions started but it dried out pretty quick and we were able to do most of qualifying without any rain," said McGuinness.

"It started again just at the end of the last practice, but we got a good run in.

"I was a bit nervous heading out after missing the event last year, but as soon as I got out there all the years of riding here came flooding back and I really enjoyed it," he added.

"We're up there in second and competitive in the Superbike class so it's been a good day."

His team-mate, Simon Andrews, was 19th on the Honda Legends CBR1000RR.

Andrews is effectively a newcomer after his planned debut at the North West last year was thwarted when the event was cancelled with just one race held due to a series of setbacks including poor weather and an oil spill.

"I went out in the newcomers session this morning and struggled a bit with my leg but when I got back out in the Superbike practice the adrenalin got it sorted and I felt much better," he said.

"The bike was handling really well and I just wanted to stay out and spend as much time as possible getting to know the circuit.

"I pulled in towards the end for some small adjustments to the set-up and after that it felt even better.

"I'm happy enough and hopefully the weather will stay dry for the next session on Thursday."

Final qualifying will be held on Thursday.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
John McGuinness on the Honda TT Legends Fireblade at the North West 200
Dean Harrison on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT
Peter Hickman on the Mistral Kawasaki at the Classic TT
Dean Harrison on the Steelcote Solutions Kawasaki at the Classic TT
Trevor Nation and Steve Spray on the JPS Rotary Nortons.
Picture courtesy of Motorcycle News
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki at the Classic TT
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT
Ian Lougher on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki at the Classic TT
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens BMW at the Isle of Man TT
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens BMW at the Isle of Man TT
Conor Cummins on the Honda Racing Fireblade.
John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar will again compete at the Classic TT on Paton machinery for Roger Winfield
William Dunlop will ride for the Davies Motorsport Team at the Classic TT
Peter Hickman on the Briggs Equipment BMW in the Senior TT
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW in the Senior TT
Ian Hutchinson on the Senior TT podium.
Ian Hutchinson on the PBM Kawasaki in the Senior TT.

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