SPARKS FLY AT GUY’S ZERO TEST

Martin and Mcguin­ness set scorch­ing pace at Ja­panese tests as they pre­pare to race the all-new electric Mu­gen at TT 2017

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Stephen Dav­i­son MCN ROADS RACE RE­PORTER IN JA­PAN

Guy Martin be­came the first per­son to crash a Mu­gen Shin­den in the ma­chine’s six-year his­tory dur­ing his first test on the electric bike. The Lin­colnshire man slid off at the first cor­ner on the tight Tsubuka cir­cuit dur­ing the sec­ond test ses­sion in Ja­pan. But Guy, who had been set­ting a se­ri­ously im­pres­sive pace on the money-can’t-buy Mu­gen, in­sisted: “I didn’t do any­thing daft.

“I had been us­ing a bit more brake pres­sure but I braked at the same white line that I had on ev­ery other lap. I just lost the front. I don’t know if the wind had any ef­fect.”

The Mu­gen was too badly dam­aged in the smash to be re­paired at the track and Guy had to sit out the rest of the day’s test­ing. When asked how much it would cost to re­pair, team boss Akihiro Miyata replied: “A lot!”

The fair­ings and ul­tra-ex­pen­sive air-filled Showa forks were dam­aged and the team were un­cer­tain if the bat­tery or car­bon-fi­bre frame had emerged un­scathed. The bike will be re­built com­pletely be­fore it is shipped to Britain in three weeks’ time.

Be­fore the in­ci­dent Guy had put in the lion’s share of the test laps as team-mate John Mcguin­ness rested his in­jured hand.

“It is eas­ier to ride than a con­ven­tional motorbike in one way,” was the 37-year-old’s ver­dict on the Mu­gen.

“And harder in an­other way be­cause I have to re­cal­i­brate my brain to get used to it be­ing an electric bike. There is no clutch or gear­box and the bike is silent. It is a heavy motorbike but you wouldn’t re­ally know once you get go­ing… un­til you come to a slow cor­ner.”

Lap times weren’t of­fi­cially re­leased for the pri­vate test, but MCN be­lieves that at both Sode­gaura and Tsubuka the two TT rid­ers were on a sim­i­lar pace. And Guy was adamant he wasn’t chas­ing a quick time when he crashed.

“I don’t know what the lap times were but there is only one lap time that will count and that is in the Isle of Man in June,” he said.

Ready to win

Team man­ager Miyata took a philo­soph­i­cal ap­proach to the crash.

“This is a his­toric mo­ment be­cause a Mu­gen has never even fallen over be­fore never mind crashed,” he smiled.

“But now we are ready to win be­cause all of the bad luck has gone.”

Af­ter three years with Bruce An­stey as his Mu­gen team-mate Mcguin­ness is also en­joy­ing work­ing along­side Martin in 2017.

“Guy is good fun and he is up for the challenge on all of the bikes this year,” the 44-year-old said.

“We get on well and there is a bond be­tween us. He will keep me on my toes and he has made me more fa­mous - I get three times as many likes when I tweet some­thing with him in it now!”

Is there any re­sent­ment that much of the me­dia fo­cus has now shifted to­wards his new team-mate? “None at all.” Mcguin­ness says. “Guy is liv­ing ev­ery boy’s dream, do­ing all the stuff he does. That is great. Some­times I am not sure he re­alises how spe­cial an op­por­tu­nity he has with it all. But when it comes to the TT you need to fo­cus. That’s my thing and not a day goes by that I don’t think about the TT. It is only six weeks away and then we will be right in the mid­dle of it all.”

‘A Mu­gen has never even fallen over be­fore, let alone crashed’ TEAM MAN­AGER, AKIHIRO MIYATA

Mcguin­ness is hop­ing he can win a third Zero TT with Mu­gen Guy and a Mu­gen me­chanic sur vey the crash dam­age

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