Guy Martin returns to racing at the Isle of Man TT this year and will join 23-times TT winner John McGuinness at the Honda Racing Team for the 2017 roads season.
The 35-year old Martin and 44-year old McGuinness form a PR dream team and will race the new CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 Superbike and Superstock at the TT, North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix, Armoy and Southern 100.
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, TV star and truck mechanic Martin made his TT debut in 2004 and has amassed seven second place finishes and a further nine third places but has never stood on the top step at the infamous 37.73 mile Mountain Course. This is his best chance yet, even with the pace of the likes of Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop to beat.
Martin said, “Neil [Tuxworth] has been talking to me for a while about joining the team but I had a lot of thinking to do before I committed and said yes. I spent a lot of time on my push bike to and from work, thinking about what to do. I didn’t want to grow old regretting not giving the Honda a go and the more time passes since making the decision, the more time I’ve thought it is the right decision. Honda is a great team and the Fireblade has always been a weapon on the roads so, with the new bike, I’m keen to give it a go. We’ve got a busy testing schedule coming up and I’ve put some other stuff off to make time. John [McGuinness] is the man. I’ve got massive respect for him and I’m looking forward to racing on the Fireblade against him.”
Honda Racing boss Neil Tuxworth told BikeSocial reporter, Rachael Clegg, this morning, "I've been working on this with Guy for the past three months and I'm pleased to be working with him because I've known the family for a long time. He's a Lincolnshshire lad too!
"People have said we're doing it for the publicity but we're not, we're doing it because he's on of the quickest TT guys there is."
Meanwhile, the Morecombe Missile, McGuinness, said, “I’m back with Honda for another year. Really, I’m part of the family, and I can’t wait to see what the new Fireblade SP2 can do! I know the old model like the back of my hand and have taken a lot of my TT wins with the old girl, so I can’t wait to get out on track and try the new machine out. I have a good feeling about this year and think we have a really good package to show that we mean business. I, of course, would like another TT win and I would quite like my lap record back! I always say when it’s broken that the lads are just borrowing it and I hope this year that this is the case. I am sad to say bye to the old Fireblade. I have a lot of history and good memories with that bike but testing the new model can’t come soon enough and neither can the race season. I’m excited to have Guy as my new team-mate. We’ve enjoyed many a racing battle over the years and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can both do.
The all-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 will make its road racing debut at the North West 200 in May.