Honda Fireblade

Road racing – Martin refuses to race new Fireblade in Senior

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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 – McGuinness update

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The full extent of John McGuinness’ injuries have been revealed following his crash during practice at the NW200.

The veteran broke his leg but has also been diagnosed with four broken vertebrae and has three broken back ribs. The injuries mean he will remain at Royal Victoria Hospital for around one week as part of the recuperation process and will wear a cast for up to six weeks in treatment for the vertebrae.

Honda Racing has received McGuinness’ Fireblade from the race organisers and will perform a detailed analysis of the bike and ECU data at its headquarters in Louth to work out why the bike’s throttle stuck open – as a result, the team has withdrawn from the Superstock and Superbike races at the North West 200.

The team will next be on track at Castle Combe in a couple of weeks’ time as part of its preparation for the Isle of Man TT.

Jonny Twelvetrees, team manager, said: “Unfortunately John’s incident at Primrose Hill during qualifying has resulted in quite a substantial injury to his right Tibia and Fibula. It is a real blow to John and the team, but he’s got an incredible amount of spirit and is in very good hands with the medical staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

“We now need to determine what happened and will sit out the Superstock and Superbike races, get back to Louth to analyse John’s bike and re-group ahead of our next test at Castle Combe in a couple of weeks before we head to the Isle of Man.”