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
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