His race come­back His speed­way de­but ‘If I go to the TT again, I’ll be in it to win it’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - By Kevin King­ham

Guy Martin re­turned to bike­sport at the week­end when he trav­elled to New Zealand’s South Is­land to race his mon­ster Martek tur­bocharged Suzuki GSX-R1100IN the 11th an­nual Burt Munro Chal­lenge, a multi-event rally that at­tracts rid­ers and rac­ers from all over the coun­try.

The Lin­colnshire rider, who missed this year’s TT and hasn’t raced com­pet­i­tively since his crash at the 2015 Ul­ster Grand Prix, en­thralled spec­ta­tors in the sprint event on his self-built Suzuki, even with the Martek’s boost turned down to ‘just’ 260bhp. Lo­cal rider, John Beck, who helped Guy dur­ing the week and got to take the Martek out, said: “That thing is just the right amount of an­gry.”

Fresh from the tar­mac, Guy was then in ac­tion on the beach. New Zealand’s old­est mo­tor­cy­cling tro­phy is set­tled here, where land­speed record hero Burt Munro learned his rid­ing craft, and the windswept coast sees ac­tion once ev­ery year as part of this week of mo­tor­cy­cling.

Thrown in at the deep end on a 450cc Honda mo­tocrosser, Martin stood out in the pack with his leathers and road hel­met as the rid­ers flew down the sand as fast as the protesting sin­gles would al­low. He also im­pressed the off-road spe­cial­ists by en­ter­ing as many races as he could, and fin­ish­ing mid-pack in most of them.

In the speed­way leg of the Chal­lenge, Martin rode a Yamaha R1-pow­ered bike be­fore fit­ting wets to his Martek Suzuki for the wind and rain-lashed street rac­ing, which was cut short when fenc­ing blew down and on to the track.

With the Burt Munro Chal­lenge bend­ing the rules to ac­com­mo­date his 1380cc turbo, a re­turn visit for Guy next year looks on the cards when the TV star would hope to im­porve on his tenth place this time out.

“It’s a great event,” said Guy. “And it’s great that I get to do so many dif­fer­ent things. It’s more about the event, the ma­chines and the peo­ple. The rac­ing is great but there’s more to it than that.

“It sounds like next year’s Burt Munro Chal­lenge will be a spe­cial event with some pretty mad ma­chines, so hope­fully I’ll be back.”

‘It’s more about the event, the ma­chines and the peo­ple. But the rac­ing is great’

Guy even lent a hand, work­ing on other rac­ers’ bikes

Guy en­joys a rare mo­ment of sun­shine

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