Morecambe’s John McGuinness has been ruled out of this weekend’s International North West 200 road races after the Honda Racing rider crashed during Thursday’s final qualifying session for Saturday’s two Superbike races.

Having qualified in 11th place for the Supersport class on board the Jackson Racing Honda, John had set the seventh fastest Superbike time on Tuesday and was hopeful of improving upon this on Thursday.

The 45-year had just set his personal best lap of the week around the 8.9-mile circuit at 118.857mph during the afternoon when he crashed the Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR heavily half way through the 45-minute Superbike session.

North West 200 2017 Tuesday Practice 057

The incident occurred at the fourth gear, Primrose Corner just after the start and finish and the session was immediately red flagged with the 23-times TT winner being treated at the scene by trackside medics. He was subsequently transferred by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast accompanied by his wife Becky.

Diagnosis later on Thursday evening revealed John sustained a compound fracture of his right, lower leg, four broken vertebrae and three broken back ribs in the high speed spill. In theatre, it wasn't possible to plate the leg break and so an external fixator will be fitted tomorrow whilst he will wear a cast for up to six weeks to support the damaged vertebrae. John will remain at the Royal Victoria Hospital for a further week as part of the recuperation process.


North West 200 2017 Tuesday Practice 003

Pictures by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International