John McGuinness North West 200 crash: Honda rider suffers suspected broken leg in qualifying accident

The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner is now a serious doubt for next month's event

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The Independent Online

23-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness has suffered a suspected broken leg in a crash while qualifying at the North West 200 event in Northern Ireland, race organisers have confirmed.

The 45-year-old came off his Honda Racing Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2 on the Primrose section of the course during the second superbike qualifying session, shortly after the finish line on the road course.

McGuinness was transported by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by ambulance, where he was accompanied by his wife, Becky, with the Morecombe native reported to be conscious and alert following the accident.

A statement released by the North West 200 organisers read: “Honda Racing’s John McGuinness has crashed at Primrose corner during the Superbike practice session at the Vauxhall International North West 200 today.

“The 45 year old Morecambe rider, who is a six times winner at the event, has been taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast by ambulance with a suspected broken leg.”

Thursday proved a tough day for the Honda Racing squad after Guy Martin suffered an accident in the morning’s superstock qualifying session. The returning Lincolnshireman went off at the Magherabouy chicane and clipped a barrier, and was shown a black flag at the Metropole when he attempted to continue as officials needed to check for any damage to his Fireblade.

“I sort of laid it on its side,” Martin told the BBC once he returned to the paddock after the session had finished. “I didn’t crash, but I let go of the handlebars and kind of laid it on its side, then they wouldn’t let me go. I got going again, there was nothing wrong with the bike, but they gave me a black flag at the Metropole so I sat and had a cup of tea.”

With McGuinness now a serious doubt for the Isle of Man TT next month and Martin well off the pace at the North West – Martin failed to break the top 20 in supersport qualifying and managed only 19th overall on his superbike – Honda face a big decision over whether to replace McGuinness with another rider.

McGuinness has won the second highest number of races at the TT after Northern Irishman Joey Dunlop, whose tally of 26 wins remains untouched.

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