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Up and down North West 200 meeting for Martin
Kirmington’s Guy Martin had an up and down International North West 200 meeting on Saturday when two top seven finishes were offset by three non-finishes. The Wilson Craig Honda rider scored a best finish of 4th in the feature Superbike race, where he was in contention throughout, with his other finish on the day being 7th in the Superstock race.
Guy endured a mixture of fortunes in the two qualifying sessions but, despite searching for the optimum set-up of the machine, his best placing came in the Superbike class where he ended up in fifth and on the second row of the grid. In the Supersport class, he overcame an engine problem on Tuesday evening to move up to 8th on Thursday and bounced back from a spill in Thursday’s Superstock session to place 10th overall.
Race day on Saturday for Guy got off to the worst possible start when he retired just a few miles into the opening Superbike race due to clutch failure and he didn’t fare much better in the first Supersport encounter. This time the engine expired on the fourth lap whilst he was lying in fourth place and right in the midst of a ferocious seven man dice for the lead. However, his day improved with a fighting 7th in the 5-lap Superstock race and it got better still with a fine 4th in the main Superbike event where he ran close to the front of the pack for two thirds race distance before dropping back slightly in the closing stages. He was then forced to miss the second Supersport race due to the earlier engine problems.
It’s left him with a lot of work to do before the Isle of Man TT but a philosophical Guy later said: “It’s not been the day I had in mind but I’m hoping we’ve got our bad luck out of the way before the TT. I knew the clutch had gone in the first Superbike race as soon as I got to York Corner in the first race but at least I went the full distance in the 2nd and although 4th certainly isn’t where I wanted to finish, at least I was there or thereabouts in the early stages. We replaced the 600 motor for the race after the problems in practice but it blew up again when I was right in the middle of the fight for the lead and I had to miss the second race so we’ve come away with a lot of work to do to those engines. There’s not much good to come out of the weekend but I felt I was riding well so we’ll get stuck in over the next couple of weeks and make sure no stone gets unturned in preparation for the TT.”
Practice for the 2010 Isle of Man TT starts on Saturday 29th May.
Pictures by Alan Armstrong