Guy Martin

Road racing – Martin refuses to race new Fireblade in Senior

593301d155866

In a move that surprises nobody, Guy Martin has refused to race the new Fireblade in this year’s Senior TT race.

The maverick Lincolnshire rider suffered a big crash after finding a ‘box full of neutrals’ on the racebike earlier in the week, a move which clearly left Martin visibly shook up.

A normally vocal Martin was unusually quiet following the incident, towing the official Honda line and allowing Honda Racing manager Jonny Twelvetrees to do the talking.

The island rumour mill was rife with report that the team had packed up and gone home, but that speculation proved to be unfounded, and instead the gossip focused on whether Martin would race or not.

And today Martin revealed his hand: “I came back to the TT this year to race and try to win with Honda Racing. I’ve done loads of testing and the team have been flat out, before we got here and at the event. But we’re not doing the times needed to be competitive here, we need more time to set up the bike and doing six laps will not achieve what we set out to do and I’ve always reckoned this is not the place to be out riding just to make up the numbers, so as a team we agreed it wasn’t right competing in the Senior TT. With the weather and my crash I’ve done plenty of tea drinking and dog walking.”

His team manager Jonny Twelvetrees revealed that the bike was ready, and that the decision not to race was martin’s. He said: “We’re disappointed not to be taking part in today’s Senior TT, a decision that is ultimately due to a lack of track time for Guy on the Fireblade. We came here to race and everyone in the team – who have worked extremely hard over the last few months – was looking forward to seeing what the new bike could do. Guy informed me that he wouldn’t race in the Senior, which is a tough decision to make but one I can understand given the lack of practice we’ve had.

“The good news is that Guy has told me that even though the TT hasn’t worked out, he’s keen to take part in the Southern 100 next month and try to get the most from the Fireblade there.”

Road racing – TT 2017 is go!

D6FEF7561791462B926204A3302EACE2.ashx

After a frustrating and wet start to the 2017 Isle of Man TT races, qualifying finally got underway on Tuesday evening and last year’s headline makers – Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop – immediately took up where they left off last year, setting the pace with 125mph+ laps.

Intermittent afternoon rain resulted in a number of damp patches around the 37.73-mile course, most notably at Greeba, on the approach to Glen Helen and in Governor’s Dip, but conditions were otherwise good with bright sunshine and blue skies at the start and finish of the session. It was a prompt start too as the three newcomers – Adam McLean, Paul Jordan and Joey Thompson – headed off down Glencrutchery Road slightly before the 6.20pm start.

After the sidecar newcomers left the line for their speed controlled lap, there was a slight gap before the session proper fired into life with Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda first away just before 6.35pm with James Hillier, Ian Hutchinson, Josh Brookes and Lee Johnston on their Supersport mounts following the Kiwi rider down Glencrutchery Road.

Ivan Lintin, Peter Hickman and Michael Rutter were also among the early starters on their Lightweight machines while the returning Guy Martin set off slightly later on his Supersport Honda as he got his first taste of the Mountain Course on closed roads since the 2015 Senior TT.

Hutchinson, on the McAMS Yamaha, was first to complete a lap at 118.845mph with Michael Dunlop second across the line and quickest on the opening lap of TT2017 at 120.371mph. Gary Johnson was also above the 120mph mark at 120.311mph, just over half a second slower than Dunlop.

Hutchinson’s lap made him third quickest ahead of Dean Harrison and Jamie Coward (both 118.160), Hillier (117.884) and Conor Cummins (117.673). Martin’s first lap was a solid 115.808mph with Brookes back on 108.171mph. Meanwhile, Dan Kneen was reported as having stopped at Cronk y Voddy although he was able to proceed.

Second time out and Hutchinson and Dunlop both lapped in excess of 121mph, at 121.147 and 121.020 respectively. Anstey and Hillier were next with 119.794 and 119.776 respectively while Johnson was slightly slower on his second lap at 119.341. Martin improved to 117.092mph. McLean was the fastest newcomer with a fastest lap of 112.89mph.

Rutter was quickest in the Lightweight class with a speed of 113.946 on the Paton from Lintin (113.856) with Dan Cooper, Hickman and Stefano Bonetti all inside the 111mph lap barrier.

At 7.10pm it was the turn of the 1000cc machines with David Johnson first away on the Norton. The Aussie hasn’t got a Supersport bike at his disposal so waited slightly longer than other riders for his first laps of 2017.

Steve Mercer lapped at 120.906mph with Hillier (120.986) and Rutter (120.986) slightly quicker but it was that man Dunlop who was laying an early marker down on the Bennetts Suzuki and a speed of 125.680mph sent him comfortably to the top of the leaderboard.

Hutchinson cruised across the line with a lap of 122.704mph but this was only good enough for fourth as Dan Kneen slotted into second on the Penz13.com BMW with a fine lap of 124.642mph. Dean Harrison (122.853) moved up to third with Peter Hickman (121.472) and Lee Johnston (121.322) completing the top six while Guy Martin’s opening lap on the Superbike saw him post a speed of 118.739mph.

There were changes later in the session though and although Dunlop broke the 125mph barrier once more, Hutchinson took the first night honours with the fastest lap on the night with a speed of 125.839mph. Hickman (124.093) jumped up to fourth although Rutter’s lap of 124.117mph made him quickest in the Superstock class from Anstey (123.722).

Harrison looked like he would make a significant impression but he retired at the Mountain Box while Martin broke the 120mph barrier with a speed of (120.018).

Today’s qualify session is scheduled to get away at 18.20 (Superbikes, Superstock, Supersport, Newcomers (ex Lightweight) to 19.20 with Supersport, Lightweight and Newcomers all classes away from 19.20 to 19.50.

Road racing – Martin gels with new Honda CBR1000RR SP2

IMG_1806

Lincolnshire road racing maverick Guy Martin has had his first taste of the new CBR1000RR SP2 as he continues his preparations for his return to road racing with the factory backed Honda Racing outfit.

The Kirmington lad joined team-mate John McGuinness for the shakedown at Castle Combe, and while Martin seemed to gel with the new Fireblade, an impressive feat considering he has switched rubber from Metzeler to Dunlop, McGuinness suffered a broken thumb after crashing on the second day of testing.

Honda Racing boss Neil Tuxworth said: “The bikes arrived later than expected and good progress is being made getting them ready to race. Considering the mechanics were still working on them the night before the test we are very happy with where we are.

“With the road bikes running kit ignition they are easier to set up than the BSB racebikes which run on Motech systems. We will come back to Castle Combe for another test in a few weeks’ time and that will be important as both bikes will be running full spec.”

 

Road racing – Martin in, Anstey out at Mugen

guy-martin-honda-road-racing-2017-04-1

Guy Martin has joined Team Mugen for the 2017 Isle of Man TT Zero race.

The Lincolnshire maverick will partner up with 23-time TT winner John McGuinness, his teammate in the Factory Honda road racing outfit, and replaces last year’s TT Zero race winner Bruce Anstey.

Both John McGuinness and Guy Martin will fly out to Tokyo in April to check out the bike and get it set-up.

Team Mugen wants to smash the TT Zero lap record and break the 120mph barrier, and with martin looking to land his maiden TT win,this could possibly his best chance of that.

Road racing – Martin signs for Factory Honda squad

587e8c2eb53f9

The fastest man to never win a TT has signed to race a new Fireblade for the Factory Honda outfit.

Martin was in talks with Neil Tuxworth to ride for Honda last year, with Honda desperate to see Martin on their machinery in 2016. Sources close to Martin revealed that the star was told he could name his price, but it isn’t money that drives Martin and he told Tuxworth so. Instead of a fat pay cheque, Martin said he’d race for nothing, so long as he could race the RCV, the road-going version of Marc Marquez’s bike.

Tuxworth left and contacted HRC, but the answer from the Japanese factory was that a road racing RCV wasn’t a possibility. And thus the talks between Tuxworth and Martin broke down.

However, Tuxworth believes Martin is the perfect rider to partner John McGuinness and continued to push the maverick truck mechanic to sign for his Honda Legends road racing squad.

Martin said: Neil [Tuxworth] has been talking to me for a while about joining the team, but I had a lot of thinking to do before I committed and said yes. I spent a lot of time on my push bike to and from work, thinking about what to do. I didn’t want to grow old regretting not giving the Honda a go, and the more time passes since making the decision, the more time I’ve thought it is the right decision.

“Honda is a great team and the Fireblade has always been a weapon on the roads, so with the new bike, I‘m keen to give it a go. We’ve got a busy testing schedule coming up and I’ve put some other stuff off to make time. John [McGuinness] is the man, I’ve got massive respect for him and I’m looking forward to racing on the Fireblade against him.”

The deal will see Martin ride the new Honda Fireblade in both the Superstock and Superbike races at the TT, and is also set to compete at the North West 200, Ulster GP, Southern 100 and some Irish meetings in the coming year.

Signing for the Factory Honda teams means Martin will ditch the spanners and focus solely on riding the new Fireblade, which may just free enough head space to allow him to take his maiden TT win.

It’s a big ask though – the bike is unproven. Watch this space…

 

 

Road racing – Martin makes shock return with Honda

guy-martin-800-1

Guy Martin is making a shock return to the roads after signing a deal to ride the all-new Fireblade for Honda.

Honda had offered a ‘name your price’ contract last year, but the Lincolnshire maverick refused the offer, asking instead for a RCV213. Honda UK asked Japan but were unable to come to an agreement and the deal was dead in the water.

Or so we thought. Now it seems Guy has agreed terms to ride a 2017 Fireblade at the TT, although no details have been revealed about which team he’s riding for – the Honda TT Legends team or the Wilson Craig team.

And after sitting out last season altogether he’s got a point to prove.

Road racing – Martin wanted RCV ride for 2016 TT

guy-martin-800-1

Speculation continues to surround Guy Martin, with media channels across the globe wondering whether we will see the maverick road racer between the hedges in 2017.

Many are suggesting the fastest man to never win a TT has done with the roads for good, his huge off at the UlsterGP in 2015 proving to be the crash that broke the camel’s back.

However, we can reveal that the world’s fastest truck mechanic was in talks with Neil Tuxworth to ride for Honda last year, with Honda desperate to see Martin on their machinery in 2016.

Sources close to Martin revealed that the star was told he could name his price, but it isn’t money that drives Martin and he told Tuxworth so. Instead of a fat pay cheque, Martin said he’d race for nothing, so long as he could race the RCV, the road-going version of Marc Marquez’s bike.

Tuxworth left and contacted HRC, but the answer from the Japanese factory was that a road racing RCV wasn’t a possibility. And thus the talks between Tuxworth and Martin broke down.

But we did see an RCV ridden in anger at the TT after Clive Padgett prepared a privately-owned bike for Bruce Anstey, and the flying Kiwi finished eighth in the Superbike race on the MotoGP-inspired V4. Would Martin have fared any better? Let the discussions begin…

So Martin may not be racing on the roads anytime soon, but should a team offer him a left field choice, then the answer my just be a resounding YES.

 

 

Hey, leave our Guy alone

guy-martin-aims-at-breaking-wall-of-death-record-105684_1

So, last night Lincolnshire lad and motorcycling maverick Guy Martin added another accolade to sit on his already bulging trophy cabinet, setting a speed record for the fastest wall of death.

The Kirmington based rider broke the 60mph barrier on an Indian before smashing that and recording an impressive 78.15mph on his own prepared triple.

It was no mean feat – Martin was pulling more than 6G as he travelled around the wall – and in his own words he was starting to suffer with ‘grey / blurred’ vision.

And yet despite this achievement, and bringing motorcycling to the masses on primetime TV on a Bank Holiday, social media was awash with keyboard warriors belittling his efforts, and what he has achieved in his stellar career to date.

‘But he hasn’t won a TT’, ‘Ken Fox could’ve smashed that record’, were some of the nicer comments. Yes, he hasn’t won a TT, but he’s constantly been one of the fastest riders between the hedges and his bravery and commitment can’t be questioned – he had his fast crash at the UlsterGP because he wanted the win, because he wanted to beat Bruce Anstey.

Ken Fox could possibly have broke the record, but he didn’t. Guy did. Get over it and applaud the man for raising the profile of motorcycling immeasurably. He’s a national treasure and I’m lucky enough to have seen him race live more times than I care to remember. I hope the hatred of the minority doesn’t mean he’ll hang up his road racing leathers for good.

Road racing – Guy Martin to miss TT

3859069977

Guy Martin will sit out this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, as he sets his sights on tackling the world’s toughest mountain bike race – the Tour Divide.

His team, Tyco BMW, will instead focus their efforts around 11-time TT race winner Ian Hutchinson, who scored impressive treble winner on the island in 2015 and is now looking forward to campaigning Tyco BMW S 1000 RR machinery.

Martin has no plans to road race prior to his Tour Divide attempt and the Tyco BMW team is not actively looking to replace the Lincolnshire man at the aforementioned events.

Martin said: “I’m not done with motorbikes and if I race on the roads again this year it will be with the TAS team. The BMW bikes are mega and the team are spot on.

“I fancy a change of scenery. I’ve been racing the TT for 11 years. All I’ve really done since I was 18, except the trucks, is race motorbikes and my brain needs something else. Every year’s the same: testing, racing, then start again.

“It brought it home to me when I was lying in hospital after the Ulster Grand Prix crash. I’ve been on about the Tour Divide, the toughest pushbike race in the world, for three years and I thought I’ll blink and next thing I’ll be 45, so I’m going to do it this year.

“I like breaking myself mentally and the Tour Divide will be tough, but it’s same time at TT, so that’s forced me to make a choice.

“I’m not done with motorbikes. I’m attempting the Wall of Death record in the spring and having a go at the land speed record in the summer and if I do race on the roads it will be with TAS.

“After the Tour Divide I might never want to see a pushbike again – or never want to go road racing again, I don’t know. But I do know Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness are still racing the TT, and they’ve got a few years on me, so maybe I’ll come back next year. Or maybe I’ll find something else interesting to do. I’ve got more interests than just motorbikes and I just think let’s bloody have ‘em.”

Road racing – Guy Martin speaks out after UlsterGP horror crash

image

Mercurial Lincolnshire racer Guy Martin has spoken out for the first time since suffering a terrifying crash at the UlsterGP.

The Kirmington-based rider broke five vertebrae as he crashed out of the lead of the Dunrod 150 Superbike race   and admits he’s finding the road to recovery difficulty.

He said: “I’ve had my head down for a few weeks, because I didn’t want the world knowing I spannered myself, but it turns out the world already knew. I also wanted to make sure that anything you heard was straight from the horse’s mouth.

“I don’t remember anything about the crash after headbutting the ground, but the Dainese and AGV stuff I was racing in was bloody brilliant. The leathers were cut off me, but there weren’t many scuffs on them. I headbutted the ground at 130mph, then skidded into a dirt field and catapulted off a few things. The impact I hit the ground with was massive. I was knocked out, but it’s a credit to that helmet that I didn’t suffer any damage other than a badly bloodshot eye. There are no rubbish helmets any more really, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be wearing anything other than my AGV.

“I’ve broken some vertebrae, but I’ve got to say the Dainese back protector did its job. It has a honeycomb aluminium core that was crushed by the impact, which is what’s supposed to happen, and it’s making funny noise if you flex it, but I crashed on Thursday night, I was operated on Friday afternoon and walking Saturday morning. I was in the shed the following Thursday. That back protector genuinely saved my bloody life.

“I might have come around at the trackside, because the marshals told people I was spouting the usual gibberish. I properly woke up in hospital. Then it was all the usual questions: ‘Where are you sore?’ ‘Does this hurt?’ and the likes.”

“I was in Belfast Royal and I’ve never been more impressed by a hospital than I was by that place, all the staff were great. I broke five vertebrae, but they bolted six together, from T4 to T10, because two are unstable, meaning there’s a chance they could move and damage my spinal column. They had to rod my spine because I broke my sternum too. Normally the front will hold the back together or the back will hold the front, but I had broken both front and back. My sternum is cracked straight down the middle, but that’s only cartilage so they don’t do anything to try repair it. I broke five ribs and two metacarpals in right hand, too, and my hand’s been plated.

“I’ve been back at work a while, but I’m struggling with everything. Sharon, my other-half, thought I was an idiot for trying to go back to work so soon, but I’d spent nearly a week at home, and I had to do something. Now she admits that me going to work has moved me on loads, mentally and physically. There’s no better physio than working on trucks and I know when I’m doing too much, I’m not planning to do anything that puts the recovery back.

“The surgeon had to move my shoulder blade muscles to get the metalwork in, then fasten them all on again. That’s what’s causing the most bother, the muscle not the broken bones. A lot of my work involves having my hands above my head, in the pit working on a truck above me, but I’m alright as long as I don’t overdo it. If it gets too much Moody or Belty give me a hand and I’m getting stronger everyday.

“Having a few days off work gave me time to think about what I want to do, and realise all things that have had to go on hold. I still want to race, but I’m not going to rush into deciding what or where I’m going to race.”

Martin has entered the Gold Cup at Oliver’s Mount and is expected to make his competitive comeback at the event.