Great news for the Northern Irish Road Racing Scene in the form of Guy Martin returning for 2 confirmed events!
Guy Martin will be returning to the Northern Irish Road Races this year with his first stop being the Cookstown 100 on 27th and 28th April 2018. Guy will be riding his own 750 BSA in the Yesteryear Classic Race.
Then it’s off to one of Guy’s favourite courses – Tandragee – for the Tandragee 100 where he will again pilot his BSA in the Forgotten Era and Classic Races. The Tandragee 100 runs on 4th and 5th May 2018 .
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The internet has went crazy today reporting on Guy Martin retiring from Road Racing. As a Guy Martin fan, that is of course devastating news, and I honestly believe that most pure fans of road racing will also agree that Guy was / is good for the sport and its profile. However following an ‘exclusive interview’ with MCN it looks like his road racing days are over…
With huge publicity surrounding the partnership of John McGuiness and Guy Martin on the new Honda FireBlade things looked perfect for the 2017 season.
Then it all started to unwind. A poor Tandragee 100 started the season with Guy crashing out on his first lap, followed by an uneventful Cookstown 100 and North West 200 (at the same time as losing team mate John McGuinness to a horrific crash) which led us to the Isle of Man. After the ‘box of neutrals’ incident Honda withdrew from the rest of the event. Guy went onto a second place in the TTZero with Team Mugen, his team mate Bruce Anstey taking the win in that event.
Then the press release came that Honda and Guy would not be participating in the Ulster Grand Prix, a circuit that has brought Guy great success as well as proving almost deadly in 2015.
At this point I think most of us thought the writing on the wall was now here.
Guy Martin’s Road Racing days are over.
Explaining his decision to call it a day in an exclusive interview with MCN’s Matt Wildee, Guy said: “Racing’s been good to me, but I’m bored of it. You spend the early part of the year preparing for the season – testing, racing, talking about it, and then doing it all over again. It’s like Groundhog Day. It’s time to stop.”
This is being reported across all main road racing networks today…
Reports indicate that Guy Martin and marque Honda will not contest Armoy or the Ulster Grand Prix; an inauspicious and anticlimactic end to a very arduous season in 2017.
After so many years of success, Honda has endured, along with its riders, a highly tumultuous year already and one wonders how they will come back from the apparent brink.
Sad end to the year for Guy and for Honda if this is the case.
To be brutally honest after the 2017 Honda has found itself nursing I can’t fault any outcome like this, whether it is Guy Martin finishing with Honda, or vice versa, or Honda pulling out of these events of its own volition I think the final outcome is the right one.
What I do hope is that their R&D Teams get any remaining bugs ironed out and make a great comeback in 2018. I would be really surprised to see them fielding a team with a diferent rider(s) this season.
What I also hope is that this doesn’t end Guy Martin with road racing, the simple facts are, Guy is quick and skilled, you don’t get into the 132mph TT Club by accident or happy chance. He is popular and this fame brings people (and money) to these events. No doubt it helps with the following, contraversial maybe? True definitely. And finally I think he has unfinished buisness – he wants that TT win, and to be honest I want him to get it. Maybe Wilson Craig Racing could see him on a bike to see out the season, who knows?
Anyway here’s to fast and sucessful return to Road Racing, in the very near future to Honda Racing and Guy Martin.
During the Isle of Man TT 2017, RST Superbike race, Honda Racing’s Guy Martin unfortunately crashed at Doran’s bend on his first lap. Guy reported that he hit a “box of neutrals” which caused him to berm the kerb and take a tumble.
With Guy Martin pulling out of the Pokerstars Senior TT earlier today rumours have been rife as to why.
Personally I think he knew (and Honda did too) that the bike was not ready to be competitive, but more importantly they have to be 100% sure that everything about the bike is race ready and safe. This was not worth risking.
A lot of work still needed to be done in getting the bike ready and with the massive amount of track time lost to the weather this year it was in my opinion the right call to forget about this one race, and hopefully, focus on the bigger long term picture.
Guy has hinted that he will be at the Isle of Man Southern 100 next month, and I have my fingers crossed he will make a couple more appearances back in Northern Ireland at Armoy and the Ulster GP.
You can see from this interview though that after his spill Guy was visibly shook up.
However Guy did race on finals day and earned himself a 2nd place finish on the Mugen Shinden Rokuwith his teammate Bruce Anstey taking the win. All 8 TTZero bikes finished this race for the first time and although this class gets an awful lot of abuse, and at the risk of being contraversial – I like it, but they I am a tech guy – it’s going to appeal to me as a default.
With five races scheduled for the Saturday event the usual happened and the weather closed in. After 2 glorious weeks that covered Northern Ireland in sunshine by the time Saturday Race Day had arrived so too had the rain. That meant delays… by well after lunch time only one race had been run and the question was will just one more race be even possible?
Well it was, the weather broke just enough to get a full schedule completed and WOW what a Race Day it was! Every race was outstanding, there was only one red flag and that was for rain and safety reasons rather than crashes or injuries. William Dunlop found himself back on the podium again after an outstanding run on the Supertwin machine, then a few moments of drama when rain closed in on a race and the riders wanted the race stopped raised the temperature of the event. Tempers rose to the point of breaking – all of which accumulated itself in the feature race – The 2017 Vauxhall NW200 Superbike Race. It was one of the great spectacles this event has had in years and talking about it isn’t enough, you have to watch it and see the ride that Glen Irwin put in on his Ducati, breath taking doesn’t cover it! Irwin wanted it, Seeley wanted it, Hutchy wanted it, Rutter wanted it. They all wanted it so badly – Hutchy was riding his bike more like a Subaru WRC powersliding it round the place, Seeley almost ended up sliding down the road after cutting a bit of the roadside grass for The Causeway Coast Council, and Glen Irwin was poetic coming out of every corner. It was a truly outstanding race.
Make sure you catch the highlight shows on the BBC – I have no idea how they could cut that race down to ‘highlights’ the whole race was a highlight!
Thursday Night traditionally brings 3 races to open the events actual racing. It is a pleasure to say this year the Thursday Night passed without incident, all 3 races getting off on time, to their full duration and a cracking evenings racing, marred only by the crash involving John McGuinnes earlier in the days Superbike Session.
Here are the results of the first three races of the 2017 International North West 200!
Guy Martin’s return to the road racing scene took an early spill at the 2017 Tandragee 100 when his Honda collided with that of fellow racer, Paul Jordan, at Marlacoo Corner, on the opening lap of the Superbike Race.
Most importantly neither rider was hurt and as the photographs show it turned into probably the most amicable spill ever with the two guys sitting up, having a chat and a cup of tea.
Paul Jordan even found the light hearted side of the crash a short time later on his Twitter Feed.
So today Guy Matrin wanted to meet me, had to tell him after there is always easier ways to say hello. Both of us were totally fine. 👌🏼 pic.twitter.com/j00bVVClpx