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Phil Wain PRESS RELEASE – Guy Martin
Kirmington’s Guy Martin returned to racing in style at the Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week and although he was unable to add to his tally of wins around the Dundrod circuit, the Wilson Craig Honda rider was in contention in every one of his six races and finished in the top six in each, an impressive statistic given he’d only had one previous outing since his horrific TT crash back in early June.
The 28-year old was unsure if he’d have the strength to muscle around the 1000cc machines for the entire 3 days of action around the high-speed Dundrod circuit but after a solid series of practice sessions, he lined up on the grid for Thursday’s Dundrod 150 Superbike race. A strong opening lap saw him slot in to third place but when race leader Ian Hutchinson went out, he was promoted to second and, with laps in excess of 131mph, it was here where he finished after fighting off the close attentions of Michael Dunlop, Bruce Anstey and Cameron Donald, only seven tenths of a second splitting second to fifth at the chequered flag.
Ulster GP race day on Saturday saw some great weather and some of the best racing ever witnessed around the 7.4-mile course – and Guy was in the mix in every one of his five races. The opening Superstock race saw Guy line up in his worst grid position (13th) but he fought brilliantly through the pack to claim 6th place, a good start to what would be an extremely hard day’s racing, for everyone. Next up was the first Supersport race with fourth place the outcome after what was a somewhat lonely race for Guy.
His third race of the day was the feature Ulster GP Superbike race where he was involved in a terrific five-man battle for the lead along with Hutchinson, Anstey, Dunlop and Keith Amor. There was nothing between the riders but Guy was pushed back to 4th in the closing stages and this was where he finished albeit just 1.232s off the race win! The second Supersport 600cc race was again a lonely affair for Guy but he took a solid fifth place and, despite beginning to feel the effects, he was back on the grid for the second Superbike race of the day. Somehow, this was even better than the first and with a lap of 133.527mph, Guy was right on the back of the 5-rider freight train battling it out for the win. The race was nothing short of hectic with positions changing all the time, especially on the last lap but a lap of almost 134mph allowed Anstey to take the win with Guy having to accept fifth, still only 1.692s off the victory, all five riders inside the old lap record.
Speaking later, a satisfied Guy said; “Today’s been nothing short of hectic and it’s just a bit of shame I wasn’t 100% race fit as my lack of race fitness began to take its toll as the day wore on. I wasn’t intimidated or scared to be back out there racing at 190mph and I gave it my all in every race but I’m man enough to admit I just didn’t have that last little bit to give. I’m as fit as a fiddle after the TT crash but after 2 months off a bike, I’m very race rusty and the muscles you use on a bike haven’t had much of a work-out recently.”
“I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to hold on to the big bikes but I gave it my best shot and although everyone knows I want to win races, I’ve got to be pleased with a podium and top six in every race in the first meeting back. I felt fine out there but it was from the hairpin back to the start and finish where I was struggling due to the constant high-speed changes in direction and I just didn’t quite have the strength to put the bike where I wanted. We’re getting there though and the bikes were awesome, probably the fastest things out there so a big thanks to all the team – Wilson, Danny, Cammy, Alastair and Phil from PTR – for giving me great support once more.”
Guy now has a fortnight’s break before his next outing at Cadwell Park on August 28-30, where he’ll be having a guest ride in the Harley Davidson XR1200 Trophy Championship.
Pictures by Alan Armstrong Photography