John McGuinness MBE

The statistics only tell half the story of John McGuinness’ career at the Isle of Man TT Races and since his debut more than a quarter of a century ago, he’s become an unofficial ambassador of the event. 

Known all around the world for his exploits around his beloved Mountain Course, McGuinness has helped raise the meeting’s profile and spread awareness to a whole new audience. It’s no surprise, or coincidence, that he was recognised by the Queen and awarded an MBE.

John’s passion for the event began when he was just 11 years old having skipped school to jump on a Steam Packet ferry with his BMX to witness the spectacle that is the Isle of Man TT Races. From the moment he first witnessed the racing whilst accompanying his dad to the Island, who was competing at the Jurby South Road Races, he knew becoming a TT rider was what he wanted to do.

Of course, dreams don’t always become reality but for McGuinness they most certainly have. Not only did he become a TT racer, he became a TT winner and then went on to become one of the greatest riders ever to have graced the event. His current tally of 23 wins is third only to the great Joey Dunlop’s tally of 26 whilst the Morecambe Missile’s 47 podiums is unsurpassed.

Success has come in all categories – 250cc, Singles, Lightweight 400, TT Zero, Supersport, Superstock and Superbike – and with a variety of teams but it’s with Honda he’s most known for. His first win came with the manufacturer in the 1999 Lightweight 250cc race and from 2006 until 2017, he rode exclusively for them. It was during this period he was at his best and when he was, undoubtedly, the man to beat.

Rivals have come and gone, and he’s beaten all of them – Lougher, Martin, Hutchinson, Anstey, Dunlop, Farquhar, Hillier and Cummins to name just a few. And he’s always done it in a dignified manner; no public spats or fallouts with anyone, preferring instead to do his talking on the track. 

Whether it’s his Superbike wins or the accolade of being the first man to lap at more than 130mph, his racing has always made headlines and his achievements have earned him unequivocal support and a corner on the course to be named after him, an honour only bestowed upon the great.

Even though his best days may be behind him, he remains, arguably, the most popular rider at the event; wherever he goes, the fans will follow. No one supports the TT, more than McGuinness and those that share his love of the event recognise, and appreciate that.

He’s overcome tragedy on more than one occasion, losing close friends David Jefferies and Gus Scott hit him as hard as they possibly could, but his commitment has never changed. The family values he had in the mid-90s remain the same today as does his love for the TT and motorbike racing in general; that will never change.

Although he’s surpassed 100 race starts and the glory days may be behind him, he’s still capable of achieving some incredible pace on the mountain Course as proved with a top six finish in 2023 where he lapped at more than 131mph for the first time since 2016.


John’s had a sensational TT career with so many wins across all the classes just like his hero Joey Dunlop with the duo having similarly lengthy careers. He’s also a great ambassador for the TT who never fails to spread the word about the TT and the Isle of Man wherever he is in the world. Continuing with Honda, he’ll be looking forward to another strong year in 2024, but will it be his last?




Morecame, England

TT Debut


Race Starts


Wins / Podiums



81 Silver / 6 Bronze

Best Lap Speed

132.701mph (2015)

Rider Guide