WHY 2017 COULD BE DIF­FER­ENT

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature -

‘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

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