TV star Guy Martin’s miserable return to the Isle of Man TT ended early after withdrawing from the showcase Senior TT today.
Martin’s return was a marquee signing for Honda Racing for their assault on TT2017. He joined the legendary John McGuinness to form an all-star team, but both struggled to get the new-for-2017 Fireblade SP2 up to speed.
After an unimpressive testing programme, McGuinness suffered a badly broken leg when he crashed at the North West 200 – an accident reportedly caused by a technical malfunction.
Coming to the TT, Martin remained off the pace in the rain shortened practice sessions and was lucky to escape injury when he crashed out of the opening Superbike TT, a fall caused by another technical issue.
Speaking of his decision to withdraw, Martin said: “I came back to the TT this year to race and try to win with Honda Racing. 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. With the weather and my crash I’ve done plenty of tea drinking and dog walking.”
Team manager Jonny Twelvetrees added: “We’re disappointed not to be taking part in today’s Senior TT, a decision that is ultimately due to a lack of track time for Guy on the Fireblade. We came here to race and everyone in the team – who have worked extremely hard over the last few months – was looking forward to seeing what the new bike could do. Guy informed me that he wouldn’t race in the Senior, which is a tough decision to make but one I can understand given the lack of practice we’ve had.”
Martin did take part in today’s TT Zero race for electric bikes, on board the technologically advanced Mugen Shinden racer, where he finished second to team-mate Bruce Anstey,
The eccentric celebrity has also added that he will race at the Isle of Man’s Southern 100 races next month, when he and Honda will be hoping to make big progress with the Fireblade.