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.”
So not too many photographs from me from this meeting, for two reasons, the first being a bit of a gripe of mine of an otherwise awesome meeting – The Grandstand.
I paid for a seat in the Grandstand just after the Start / Finish and had a cracking view up the road, until they over filled it and then everyone stood in front of the seats so this is the view I had from the Grandstand…
Just by way of comparison here is the view I should have had, the view I did have before they decided to put more people in and not put them on a seat in the Grandstand – it surely to goodness defeats the purpose!
Please Tandragee 100 – if you read this regulate the Grandstand – make it fair for everyone, it was the only negative I could mention from an otherwise great event – and I wasn’t the only one it affected.
Today (25/04/2017) it was tragically announced that Italian Road Racer, Dario Cecconi, succumbed to injuries received at the Tandragee 100 on Saturday 22nd April 2017.
Rest in Peace / Ride in Peace Dario.
PRESS RELEASE 11 TANDRAGEE 100 2017
25th APRIL 2017
STATEMENT REGARDING DARIO CECCONI
The North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club (Tarmac Section) Ltd deeply regrets to announce that Dario Cecconi, a 38 year old competitor from Italy, who sustained serious injuries after the chequered flag had gone out for the Senior Support Race on Saturday 22nd April 2017 has succumbed to his injuries.
Dario was a much loved competitor, who called the Tandragee 100 his ‘home’, did much to promote the Tandragee 100 across Europe and even had a tattoo of the Tandragee 100 Course on his arm. Dario started racing for fun at track days in Tuscany on a 600cc Suzuki and at the end of 2009, he decided that road racing was what he wanted to concentrate on. On the 12th June 2010, Dario set out on his first road race, Carpasio-Pratipiani.
When Dario first came to Tandragee in 2012 and was asked for his opinion of Irish Road Racing he replied “I completely fell in love with the Irish Road Racing World! I like the riders, the courses, the spectators and everyone in and around the paddock…I come in my van, by myself, for about 45 hours only to travel 45 hours back home again and I love it. There is a special atmosphere we can find only there. No other tracks give us this thrill, and no other meetings give us the sense of being part of a family.”
When asked what makes him love racing, he gave what can only be described as an honest answer, “When I race, I feel free – I do not think, just act or react. It’s a sort of trance and it is absolutely amazing. I feel at home and calm when I have my helmet on and the visor down, it’s hard to explain…everything is natural.”
Dario will be very sadly missed by the Club. Dario was an experienced competitor who had competed in a number of Irish Road Races; this year being his 6th year at Tandragee.
The Officials and the Club extend their sympathy to Dario’s family and partner at this saddest of times.
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
Well today unfortunately the weather forecasts could not have been more wrong. For at least the last week the forecast was overcast, but dry. That was wrong it was overcast and wet.
The day did start off dry and we got a couple of races before the mizzle started. The problem is it never stopped and as the day went on, it got harder right up to the point where there were reports coming in (via Twitter) of standing water on sections of the course.
This was the forecast for the hour following the Senior Support Race :
The deteriorating weather conditions and a race incident (no further details known at this stage) – just at the end of the Senior Support Race brought the days events to an end – before we could have a SuperSports race and the days feature race – The Tandragee 100.
Most importantly I wish a speedy recovery to the rider involved in the Race Incident.
The Results of the days completed races are as follows :