WHY 2017 COULD BE DIFFERENT
‘People forget that pit stops are part of the race’ NEIL TUXWORTH
One of the major incentives for Guy Martin’s move to Honda is being able to run Dunlop tyres.
“It’s a Honda on Dunlop tyres, enough said,” Guy smiled when questioned as to why he had joined the Japanese manufacturer. Guy has ridden on Pirellis/metzelers since 2008 with the Hydrex and Wilson Craig Honda teams, and with TAS Racing on Suzukis and BMWS. 2008 was the last year the Italian tyre manufacturer won a Superbike TT, with Cameron Donald on the Relentless Suzuki, and Guy will now be on the rubber that has won 22 of the last 24 Superbike and Senior TTS.
It’s thought the Dunlop rubber moves about much less than the Metzelers, but Ian Hutchinson has shown in recent years that Metzeler rubber is capable of competing in the big bike class as he pushed Michael Dunlop hard in both the Superbike and Senior TT races last year.
Honda are also renowned for their quick and efficient pitstops. Team boss Neil Tuxworth makes his carefully selected team practice over and over again ahead of race week as he knows just how vital saving a few seconds in the pits can be to a race result.
“Pit stops are part of a race and sometimes people forget that,” said the man who convinced Martin to come back to the TT. “What happens in the pits can dictate whether you win or you lose. The key is to make sure everyone is calm. The slower pit stops tend to be done by the people running around and throwing things about.”
While Hutchy and Dunlop had the pace on the road last year, Mcguinness gained time on them in the pits.
Could this make the difference for Guy? It certainly helps Mcguinness. He said: “It’s always encouraging if you’ve had a good pit stop and can get straight back into it. It’s such a buzz when you’re dropped off the stand and you know it’s been a good one, it makes you so much more determined as you shoot off back down Bray Hill. Honda’s pit stops are like a welloiled cog, there are none better!”
Guy struggles to restart his Tyco BMW during a pit stop in the 2015 Superstock TT