STORM IN A TEACUP
Guy Martin makes rattled rival a brew
There was no fairytale racing comeback for Guy Martin at last weekend’s Tandragee 100. Returning to the roads for the first time since a huge crash at the Ulster Grand Prix in August 2015, the Lincolnshire ace crashed out of the Open race on the first lap of the Northern Irish event on Saturday.
“It was just a minor excursion,” the 35-year-old laughed as he walked away unharmed after what was his third crash since his return to action. The Tandragee tangle, in which he also brought down local rider Paul Jordan at Marlacoo corner, followed hard on the heels of his Mugen Shinden crash during a recent Japanese trip to test the electric bike and a shunt at Monteblanco in Spain during his first ride on Honda’s new Fireblade.
“I got run into the hedge by another rider going into the corner and when I got back out I hit Paul but everything is OK,” Guy said as he shrugged off the incident.
His superstock-spec Fireblade wasn’t damaged in the incident but Guy was disappointed the crash robbed him of the track time he was seeking on the new machine before the forthcoming North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races.
“I need to get signatures on my licence before I go to the TT,” Guy explained.
“That was supposed to be the reason I was here but it wasn’t the real reason. I really just wanted to ride my bike.”
Guy was returning to his road racing roots at the Tandragee 100, an event he last competed in 12 years ago when he was based in Ireland and had just begun his third season of racing between the hedges. The huge following he now attracts, however, forced him to maintain a low profile this time around as he set up camp away from Tandragee’s main paddock area.
“This is one of the proper road races,” he said after Saturday’s event.
“It was good to ride the Honda on the roads and I got about 15 laps in during practice. We still have work to do to get it where I want it to be.”
Guy qualified in a lowly 17th place for the Open superbike race, behind several 600s and a couple of 750s, after struggling to find his feet on the technical track.
‘I got run into the hedge by another rider going into the corner’ GUY MARTIN
“I was covered in oil during the qualifying session when the bike in front of me blew up and I couldn’t really see where I was going,” the 35-yearold explained.
“I was struggling on the little back road section in particular. But then I got out again during the 600 session and I took ten seconds off my earlier time. I was getting a better feel for the bike.”
A serious crash forced the organisers to abandon the meeting, denying the Honda star a second attempt of pitting his superstock-spec Fireblade against William Dunlop’s Yamaha R1 and the pre-2017 Suzuki superbike of Derek Sheils.
Instead Guy caught a late boat back to England and made a visit to the Scarborough Spring Cup meeting at Oliver’s Mount on Sunday (see right).
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First lap back racing and Guy has an unfortunate coming together with local rider Paul Jordan Guy rented a house as an impromptu pit garage for his Tandragee return