GUY MARTIN IN­TER­VIEW

‘I’m go­ing there to win, not to daw­dle around’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Stephen Dav­i­son MCN’S TT EX­PERT

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

Guy was quick to get to know his new Honda team

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