Road racing star Guy Martin has called time on his 2017 return to road racing, just months after signing a deal with Honda to partner 23-time Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness in what should have been an international road-racing dream team.
Martin was lured back to racing by the all-new Honda Fireblade, but the effort was tainted from the beginning by the late arrival of the 2017 machinery, leaving the team on the back foot in terms of preparation.
Teething problems with the Blade’s new electronic throttle was cited by Honda as the cause of John McGuinness’ fast crash at the North West 200 which ruled him out of the Isle of the Man TT, before a false neutral caused Martin to crash out of the TT’s Superbike race. He later withdrew from the Senior TT feature race.
After testing the BSB-spec Fireblade, which is believed to be a more race-ready package than the Roads-spec bike, Martin still couldn’t post competitive lap times and the team also withdrew him from the Ulster Grand Prix.
Guy Martin said he didn’t sign up to be a test rider and has announced his decision to put an end to his road racing return with Honda. He did let slip, however, that he “can’t stop thinking about Pikes Peak”, so racing’s still very much on his agenda.
“There’s no bad feeling,” he said. “[Team boss] Neil Tuxworth has been upfront with me from the start and it’s a shame for everyone that the new bike hasn’t worked.”
By Kel Buckley