Born in Morecambe in 1972, John raced motocross as a teenager and took up a bricklaying apprenticeship before switching to the tarmac at the age of 18. McGuinness enjoyed a successful career on the short circuits, winning the 1999 British 250cc Championship and competing at British Superbike and World Supersport level, but it is at the Isle of Man TT races that he would really make his name.
First competing at the Island in 1996, he went on to take his first victory in the 1999 Lightweight TT. Little was it known it the time, but that success was the first of 23 (at the time of writing) – making him the second most successful rider to turn a wheel on Mona’s Isle, behind the late, great Joey Dunlop.
Joining forces with Bennetts for the first time in 2015, John put in what many consider to be one of his greatest ever rides to win the blue riband Senior TT.
Written off by many after a disappointing TT week by his own impeccable standards, John fought back to win Wednesday’s TT Zero race for electric bikes, before taking on and beating the in form Ian Hutchinson to take the Senior at record pace – recording an unfathomable 132.701mph lap on board his Honda CBR1000RR.
With his unquenchable love of motorcycles of all kinds, John is the perfect ambassador, not just for Bennetts but for his sport in general. The passion for riding bikes, racing bikes and talking about bikes is obvious to anyone who meets this ‘brickie from Morecombe’ – while his humility and down to earth nature ensure he remains a working class hero to the everyday rider.