Guy’s TT

It should have been a dream re­turn for Guy on a fac­tory Honda, but it turned into a to­tal dis­as­ter

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Stephen Dav­i­son ROAD RAC­ING RE­PORTER

Guy Martin’s dream of win­ning a TT race on a Honda turned into a night­mare on the Isle of Man last week when Honda with­drew from the Se­nior TT amidst a bar­rage of ac­cu­sa­tion and ac­ri­mony.

A dif­fi­cult prac­tice week saw the 35-year-old lan­guish­ing in 26th place on the timesheets, 7mph slower than pole-set­ter Michael Dun­lop. Guy’s chances of win­ning the Su­per­bike TT race dis­ap­peared com­pletely when he crashed the trou­bled Fire­blade at Do­ran’s Bend on the open­ing lap of the Su­per­bike race.

“I was go­ing out of Bal­laspur down the hill into Bal­lig Bridge and back a gear, the bike se­lected a gear and then jumped into neu­tral and I had nowhere to go and had to half berm the bank, berm the wall and the next was a bit of a blur and I went skid­ding down the road,” Guy later said, ex­plain­ing the 140mph off.

Honda is­sued a state­ment say­ing Guy had “re­ported that he hit a false neu­tral which caused him to run up the kerb and then tum­ble off, but his in­juries are mi­nor.”

There were im­me­di­ate fears the crash had been caused by a re­oc­cur­rence of the elec­tron­ics grem­lins that have dogged the new Honda Rac­ing Fire­blade in 2017 and caused two crashes for John Mcguin­ness, in­clud­ing the North West 200 smash that side­lined him from this year’s TT with a bro­ken leg.

A shaken-up Guy, who ap­peared close to tears at times dur­ing an in­ter­view with ITV4 tele­vi­sion’s Craig Doyle, said the bike had “a box full of neu­trals” and de­scribed the 2017 Fire­blade as a “Jonah” say­ing it would “never be right” and claim­ing it didn’t “like me and it doesn’t like John.”

Guy sub­se­quently pulled out of Mon­day’s Su­pers­port race in which he was due to ride Wil­son Craig’s CBR600RR but Honda de­clared the truck me­chanic would ride in Fri­day’s Se­nior race, with team boss Jonny Twel­ve­trees say­ing “he’s hurt his wrist a lit­tle” and com­plain­ing it was a “shame that we didn’t get the six laps” of the race as they needed the track time on the new Fire­blade.

In what ap­peared to be an ef­fort to steady the Guy Martin/honda Rac­ing TT ship, Guy ap­peared in another tel- evi­sion in­ter­view with Jonny Twel­ve­trees by his side the fol­low­ing day. They de­clared there had been no fall­ing out at the same time as their un­com­fort­able body lan­guage and man­ner de­clared some­thing en­tirely dif­fer­ent. For many of the peo­ple who voiced their views on that in­ter­view on so­cial me­dia, it ap­peared his Honda bosses had co­erced Guy into toe­ing the line.

On Se­nior race morn­ing Guy scup­pered what­ever plans Honda may have had by with­draw­ing from the Se­nior.

“I came back to the TT this year to race and try to win with Honda Rac­ing,” Guy said.

“I’ve done loads of test­ing and the team have been flat-out, be­fore we got here and at the event. But we’re not do­ing the times needed to be com­pet­i­tive here, we need more time to set up the bike and do­ing six laps will not achieve what we set out to do and I’ve al­ways reck­oned this is not the place to be out rid­ing just to make up the num­bers, so as a team we agreed it wasn’t right com­pet­ing in the Se­nior TT.”

The de­ci­sion meant that the on­ce­dom­i­nant Honda squad have not com­pleted a lap of an in­ter­na­tional su­per­bike road race this sea­son. On the same day Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s hopes of a land­slide elec­tion vic­tory went up in smoke, Guy’s TT with­drawal en­sured the same fate for Honda’s hopes of a PR coup for their new su­per­bike.

Will Guy race again?

Guy Martin de­clared he was “sick to the back teeth” with what had gone on at the TT be­tween Honda and him­self dur­ing the Zero TT press con­fer­ence. Ear­lier he had sug­gested he wasn’t in a po­si­tion to tell the truth about what had ac­tu­ally tran­spired dur­ing their very pub­lic fall­ing out.

“What is the word when you are not al­lowed to tell the truth, they use it in UN dis­cus­sions?” he asked when quizzed on the rea­sons be­hind his Se­nior TT with­drawal.

“I need to have a re­think.” was his re­sponse when asked if he would be back.

“The only good bit I can drag out is the whole Mu­gen thing but I’m ask­ing my­self why do I do it? The TT is great, but it is only a mo­tor­bike race.”

Guy did sug­gest he would race at the South­ern 100 on the IOM in July but he re­fused to be drawn on whether or not he will race a Honda at that event.

‘What is the word that the UN use when you’re not al­lowed to tell the truth?’

No amount of feed­back could fix the ail­ing Honda

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