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Guy Martin was drained but delighted after setting a new Wall of Death speed world record of 78.15mph on live television on Easter Monday. Over 3.5 million people tuned into Channel 4 to watch the Lincolnshire man achieve the momentous mark with a display of amazing showmanship.
Òwhat a massive undertaking,ó Guy reflected as he relaxed with his dog Nigel immediately after the event. Òthe building of the wall, keeping it all up, it is massive. All the bosses from North One and Channel 4 are here and I am happy for everyone.ó
Given his legendary interest in all things mechanical, it wasnõt surprising that Guyõs greatest satisfaction came in achieving the record on a bike that he built himself.
Òfor me it was more that it was my bike,ó he smiled. ÒI spent a year building it in the shed and it hasnõt given me any bother at all this week.ó
Guy built the Rob North-framed 750cc BSA triple at home, machining many of the parts himself. The suspension only had an inch of travel to help counteract the huge G forces created during the attempt.
However Guy was quick to pay tribute to his mechanic, Cammy Whitworth, who has worked with him since his AIM Yamaha days and helped with the preparation in the run up to the attempt.
Òcammy took a week off work to help me,ó Guy explained. ÒMY mind needed to be on the job of riding the wall and I didnõt need to think about the bike.ó
Initially Guy had said he wanted to break the 80mph barrier, and although heõd achieved that speed during training, on the night the huge G forces he was experiencing at over 70mph on the 37-metre diameter wall prevented him from hitting that magic figure.
ÒIT is all to do with the timing of where you get on the throttle,ó the 34-year-old explained. Òyou can only stand that G for so long and I greyed out straight away at 70,Ó Guy said after the first of his three runs during the final record attempt.
ÒI came back in, reset myself and went again. I was alright and got 78, then I greyed out but not as bad. I thought if I go again I will be even better.ó
Guy made an unscheduled third attempt and when he failed to better his earlier speed the headstrong racer wanted yet another go before the TV crew stopped him.
ÒI really fancied going again,ó Guy admitted. Òwhen you do owt like that you never have the final run, you think, ÔIÕLL just have one moreõ and then thatõs when it goes wrong. But when you are in that situation you never think that; you think I want to go again.ó
A yearõs preparation led up to the huge showbiz extravaganza that was all over in just a few short minutes of action. But the lasting impact of Guyõs achievement will be the impression it has left on the millions of viewers who tuned in to watch.
ÒITÕS back to work tomorrow,ó he said.
‘You can only stand that G for so long and I greyed out straight
away at 70mph’
With the world record achieved, the broadcast comes to an abrupt end. Drained, Guy cuts through the crowds to his back-stage couch.
“You were funny, you were marvellous and we have had Tweets saying ‘I wish Guy Martin was my science teacher,’ an ecstatic Channel 4 executive gushes.
An extraordinary day’s work completed, Guy sups a mug of tea and tells me he will be back to truck mechanicing in the morning.
“I’ve got a Scania R620 with a headlight that needs sorting,” he explains.
Nigel is fast asleep.