GUY MARTIN INTERVIEW
‘I’m going there to win, not to dawdle around’
Guy Martin has signed to race for Honda at this year’s TT admitting he had ‘unfinished business’. He will now return to the Isle of Man after a year out with 23-times TT winner John Mcguinness as his team-mate.
The Lincolnshire racer had been considering a permanent retirement before Honda boss Neil Tuxworth lured him on to the new Fireblade. Guy will race superbike and superstock Hondas at the North West 200, TT, Ulster Grand Prix, Southern 100 and the Irish National meeting at Armoy in 2017.
“It’s a Honda, that’s the main reason why I’m doing this,” Guy said simply. “Neil is keen and he has won 60 odd TTS,” he explained.
“I don’t know if that’s the wrong reason or the right reason, but I don’t want to grow old regretting it, so I’m doing it!”
Guy missed last year’s TT to pursue his dream of riding in the 2750-mile Tour Divide cycle race across America. Plus a successful television career has seen him doing less racing in recent seasons but now he says he is totally committed to his new venture.
“There’s a four-day test in Spain and two days at Castle Coombe, which is great, because I do miss my riding,” he said.
“I’ll give racing everything this year.” he said as he explained he was ending his usual practice of refusing payment from his race team.
“My bread and butter has always been working on lorries, and that won’t change. I don’t think I’ve ever taken money off a team until now but I’m taking the money from Honda to show that I’m serious about it! It’s a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, and that means I’ll put more effort in. It’s a commitment by me taking their money,” he went on.
“I think that’s why I could always have walked away from the TT not having won one, because it was only my hobby, but now it’s serious.”
Guy says he is relishing the prospect of joining forces with 23-times TTwinner, Mcguinness, in 2017. “John’s the man, isn’t he?” Guy said. “He is a legend and I have massive respect for him. The first rule of racing is that you have to beat your team-mate, and hopefully that’ll push us both on. He hasn’t lost any weight, but he’s a bloody good man.”
He also dismissed any concerns about swapping the S1000RR BMW he last rode in 2015 for the new and untested 2017 Fireblade. “Honda don’t make bad motorbikes, do they?” he smiled.
“It’s great that we’re not going into the unknown with this bike, because the basics are the same as they have been since 2008. It’s evolved, which is all that needed to happen. I’m sure at the first test we’re not going to be scratching our heads, because they know what works and what doesn’t.”
Although he had said in the past that he would stay with Hector and Philip Neill’s Tyco BMW team until he retired from racing Guy said he has no regrets about making his move to Honda.
“I have spoken to Hector and Phillip and I don’t want to burn any bridges with them. Hector says we can still go out for a beer, so we’re alright.”
‘I don’t want to grow old regretting it, so I’m doing it. I’ll give it everything this year’ GUY MARTIN
Guy and Tuxwor th talk cranks – no not Mcguinness