The Morecambe man follows in the footsteps of his idol, Northern Ireland’s Joey Dunlop, plus fellow motorcycling stars such as John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Barry Sheene, Carl Fogarty and World Superbike king Jonathan Rea, who have been acknowledged for their achievements in the sport with the honour.
McGuinness has won 23 races at the Isle of Man TT and is the second most successful rider ever at the event behind Ballymoney legend Dunlop, who has 26 victories.
The 48-year-old said: “I’m thoroughly humbled to receive an MBE and when I started racing all those years ago, never in a million years did I think I’d go on to achieve the success that I have let alone be recognised and honoured by the Queen!
“When you look at the previous motorcyclists to have received an MBE, it’s a very select group of riders who are both multiple world champions and legends of the sport so to be recognised in the same way as them now is something I’m extremely proud of.”
“It doesn’t happen very often in our sport so it’s an incredibly special moment for me and my family and even though I received the letter informing me of the award some time ago, I’m still finding it hard to believe so it’ll probably be a while before it properly sinks in.”
McGuinness has also enjoyed multiple wins at both the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix and a solitary success at the Macau Grand Prix, while the English rider was also crowned the 250cc British champion on the short circuits in 1999.
He added: “Obviously, the Isle of Man TT and my 23 wins there are what people most associate me with but I’ve also been fortunate to achieve success elsewhere and I’m proud of all my achievements whether it’s the TT, my other road racing wins, being British Champion or taking a British Superbike Championship podium.”
“I’ve had a lot of support over the years from a lot of people, particularly my family who have been with me all the way, and also my sponsors and fans and I’m extremely grateful for all of that support. I’ve always tried to give something back to the sport as well so for both myself and motorcycling to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours List is a truly special day.”