John McGuinness went through the very depths of hell on his journey to the starting grid of TT 2019. At the North West 200 two years ago, the throttle on his Honda Fireblade stuck open at Primrose Hill, sending him onto the adjoining golf course at 100mph. He ended up on his back, his right leg snapped in half. Months of recovery and rehab would follow as he worked towards a racing comeback at the TT in '18. Then he re-broke his leg in the off season, curtailing his plans.
The 23-time TT race winner had signed up with Norton after his relationship with Honda soured in 2017, and a glimpse of the dream partnership was had at TT '18 when he spun some 120mph demonstration laps on the SG8 Superbike.
Stuart Garner's company kept the door open for the mountain legend for this year, adding him to its Lightweight class programme as well, while former haunt Padgetts Racing put him on one of its CBR600 Hondas for the Supersport races on the island.