4 November 1981 |
Kirmington, Lincolnshire, England
Guy Martin (born 4 November 1981 in Kirmington, Lincolnshire, England) is a British motorcycle racer, lorry mechanic and occasional TV presenter. He has primarily competed in road racing events such as the Isle of Man TT and North West 200. Widely regarded as an amiable and "colourful" character, Martin has at times found it difficult to concentrate on his racing, primarily as a consequence of the media attention he attracts, not least at the Isle of Man TT.
Martin has also courted a certain degree of controversy, both with race officials and team principals. Since 2011, Martin has also found success as the front man of several television programmes focusing on his passions of engineering, motor vehicles and speed.
- 1 Early and personal life
- 2 Early career
- 3 2006: AIM Yamaha
- 4 2007-2009: Hydrex Honda
- 5 2010: Wilson Craig Honda
- 6 2011: Relentless by TAS Suzuki
- 7 2012-present: Tyco Suzuki
- 8 Ulster Grand Prix
- 9 Film and television
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early and personal life
The son of TT motorcycle racer Ian, Martin trained as a truck fitter with Volvo before going to work for his father at the local Scania garage. He currently works as a truck fitter for an independent firm in Grimsby and lives in a village 20 miles away which he cycles to and from daily. Aside from a summer living in Ireland, Martin has always lived in North Lincolnshire. Martin also builds and tunes race engines in his spare time and is very respected in this field.
Martin has two sisters and a brother, Stuart, who is also a truck mechanic and motorbike racer. Stuart Martin was 2013 champion of the Phoenix Derby Cup. His younger sister Kate was the first female mechanic in the BSB paddock before leaving to start a family with two-times TT sidecar winner, Patrick Farrance.
Martin has owned various cars, including a 2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage and a 1968 Volvo Amazon, but his main transport is a Ford Transit van. Martin also owns a large collection of bicycles and motorcycles including a Bimota in his kitchen as seen in the Channel 4 series Speed which aired in January 2014.
Martin also successfully races mountain bikes in cross country, downhill races and endurance races, most recently being placed 2nd at the Strathpuffer 24hr mountain bike race (Jan 2014) and 11th at the Trans Hajar multi day race in Oman (Feb 2014)
Martin decided to follow his father Ian's footsteps by racing motorbikes, and moved to Ireland to join Team Racing. After a successful debut year on the roads that saw him win the Cock o' the North and International Gold Cup races at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough as well as the Irish 750cc Support Championship, he moved to the Uel Duncan Racing team for 2004. It was another successful year as he retained the Gold Cup whilst also making his debut at the International road races with the highlight being 7th place in the Senior TT. His best lap was 122.10 mph which, at the time, was the fastest ever lap set by a newcomer and almost 6 mph quicker than the previous best.
Staying with the team for 2005, Martin made further strides forward and at the TT was the only rider to finish all five of his races inside the top six. A debut podium in the Senior TT was backed up with a fourth, two fifths and a sixth place whilst he improved his lap speeds to in excess of 126 mph. He also took the Scarborough Gold Cup for the third successive year.
2006: AIM Yamaha
In 2006 Martin raced for Alistair Flanagan's AIM Yamaha race team after John McGuinness moved to the Factory HM Plant Honda team for the National Superstock Championship and international road races. During the 2006 season Martin was allowed to race on the English circuits again, taking part in some British Supersport championship races. He also participated in the three Scarborough racing events at Oliver's Mount – the Ian Watson Spring National, the Cock o' the North and the Gold Cup meeting in which he won the prestigious Gold Cup equalling Geoff Duke's record of 4 in a row. The International road race meetings had mixed results: the North West 200 never went particularly well, The Isle of Man TT looked promising but problems soon led to it being another disappointment. At the final international of the year, the Ulster Grand Prix, he took 4 race wins and a 2nd making him the Man of the Meeting. However, at the end of the season, it was clear to be fully competitive in the international races at the north west 200 and the TT, Martin needed to be with a different team.
2007-2009: Hydrex Honda
Hydrex Honda was the team that secured Martin's signature for the 2007 season. Shaun Muir, team owner, said he was "delighted to have such a great prospect and a true character on board" and had "high hopes for the coming season". In the early season Martin took part in British Superbike and Supersport rounds to prepare for the road racing season. The first major international of the year was the North West 200 in which he finished with an 8th, a 4th, two 3rds and a 2nd. In the CP Hire Superstock race after a bad start Martin finished third. The Isle of Man TT was the next major race on the calendar and he got a 3rd, two 2nds and a DNF after running out of fuel with fewer than 3 miles to go until his first pit stop. In the Senior race he just missed out on becoming only the second rider, at the time, to have lapped at more than 130 mph, his best lap falling short at 129.816 mph. Later video footage showed him run wide on the entry to Windy Corner and it was this mistake that led him to miss out on the magical 130 mph lap.
Martin continued to race on the English scene and he regained his Cock o' the North title at the Scarborough circuit before going to Ireland for the Kells Road Races in which he took one race win. This was preparation for the Ulster Grand Prix and in the first race Martin brought home a 5th position, in race 2 a win, and in the superbike race, which was shortened due to weather, a 2nd. After this red flag the day's racing was cancelled due to bad weather and that meant for the 2nd year in a row Martin was the Man of the Meeting. The Scarborough Gold Cup meeting ended with him winning all the races on the final day including the Gold Cup and the 2nd 600 race of the day after a good battle with John McGuinness and Ian Lougher who were also both on the same Hondas as Martin .
On 4 December 2007 Martin announced that he would be continuing with Hydrex Honda for the 2008 season. As well as contesting a full season in the British Superbike Championship, Martin again competed in the three International road races but was denied his first TT win when he broke down whilst comfortably leading the opening Superbike race. He was eleven seconds in the lead when an electrical problem forced him out on the fourth lap. He claimed a podium, third, in the Superstock race but suffered further retirements in the Senior and second Supersport races. In September 2008 it was back to Oliver's Mount for the International Gold Cup. Martin won the feature event and now has won 6 Gold Cups in a row, a new record, and also has the lap record for the 1000cc bikes at Scarborough with a time of 1:45.3.
After the 2008 season ended, rumours started as to which team Martin would be racing for next season. He was linked to the Rob Mac racing team which runs Yamahas in British Superbikes; however this deal did not materialise. So for 2009 Martin continued with the Hydrex Honda team for a third successive year, contesting all three Internationals as well as selected British Championship and Irish National races. In a move from previous seasons, Martin moved away from the main Hydrex team, preferring instead to run a smaller, close knit team and after a steady North West 200 meeting, confidence was high going into the TT, his number one event of the year, as he sought to win a race at the 37.73 mile circuit on the Isle of Man.
2009 was expected to be the year he broke the seal, but after claiming two 2nds and a 3rd on the Superstock, Superbike and Supersport bikes early in the week Martin's engine gave up after coming onto the pit lane in the 2nd 600 race leaving him with his first DNF of the week and after a radio TT commentator approached he was left with an apology to make to fans for saying "If I get my hands on the fxxxer who built that engine he will feel the back of my hand!" More grief was to come when putting the bike into gear at the end of his 2nd pit stop during the Senior race his chain snapped, meaning he ended up with another DNF.
Martin regrouped to claim the Southern 100 Championship on the Billown road course in July, after finishing second on no less than three occasions – 2005, 2006 and 2007 – before heading to the third International race of the season, the Ulster Grand Prix. After taking third in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race, Martin repeated the result in the feature UGP Superbike race, held over 8 laps, but he ensured he would not be without an International win in 2009 when he won a thrilling second Superbike race, just over a tenth of a second in front of fellow Lincolnshire rider Gary Johnson. He also placed 4th and 5th in the equally close Superstock and Supersport races. At the 2009 Gold Cup at Oliver's Mount, Martin won the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup feature race, becoming the first rider to win seven consecutive meetings.
2009 TT Results
|Supersport Race 1||2nd||01:13:03.39||123.948||Silver|
|Supersport Race 2||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF|
2010: Wilson Craig Honda
The end of 2009 saw Martin leave Hydrex for Wilson Craig Honda, a team which hailed from Northern Ireland. He failed to take a podium at the North West 200, with his best result being fourth in the second Superbike race. He went to the Isle of Man TT, looking to achieve his first TT victory. However, the meeting was dominated by Ian Hutchinson, who took a record-breaking five victories in all the solo races. In the final race, the Senior TT, Martin was a challenger to stop Hutchinson achieving the clean sweep, but was involved in an incident on the third lap of the race at Ballagarey, having led the race just before the first pit stop. Guy was airlifted to Noble's Hospital in Douglas with chest injuries. He was later diagnosed as suffering bruising to both lungs and minor fractures to his upper spine. His performance at the meeting was criticised by Simon Buckmaster, whose PRT Racing Team built the bikes which Martin was running. Martin received considerable public support over Buckmaster's comments. Buckmaster continued to reiterate his comments in a subsequent interview.
2010 TT Results
|Supersport Race 1||2nd||1:12:40.78||124.591||Silver|
|Supersport Race 2||4th||1:13:00.31||124.035||Silver|
During the Superbike race, Martin received a 30-second penalty for exceeding the posted pit lane speed limit of 60 km/h by just 0.112 km/h. Had he not received the penalty, his overall time would have been 1:46:48.05 and put him in 2nd place, behind Ian Hutchinson who finished with a time of 1:46:31.82.
2011: Relentless by TAS Suzuki
In November 2010 Martin was signed by Relentless Suzuki, the team run by the Neill family based in Northern Ireland. Previously the team has had over 18 TT wins with riders including Cameron Donald, David Jefferies, Bruce Anstey, and Adrian Archibald. Philip Neill had this to say about his new signing “It’s been a difficult decision changing our line-up as we pride ourselves on loyalty. In saying that, Guy is a rider I’ve wanted to work with for a couple of seasons now, and my loyalty to other riders probably held that decision back a little. He came to us full of enthusiasm and wants to do things our way, which was a good starting point. And on top of that, I'm a sucker for a challenge and I like Guy's free spirit attitude. He's created a Guy Martin brand without even trying and that’s also pretty special."
Martin is said to have found a good direction after joining his team-mates during testing at Cartagena.
Martin had a relatively successful TT but still the all important top step was out of reach again. The closest he got was on Friday's senior race where he battled with John McGuinness until the end for the lead. Eventually taking second place, Martin commented he did all he could and he was beaten by the better man.
2011 Ulster Gp
A superbike race 2 win at the Ulster Grand Prix followed for Martin after his consistent TT. He finished second in the opening superbike race behind Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts racing Honda Fireblade.
2011 TT Results
|Supersport Race 1||3rd||0:54:56:06||123.628||Silver|
|Supersport Race 2||3rd||1:13:29.28||123.220||Silver|
2012-present: Tyco Suzuki
In 2012, Martin resumed his ride with the factory Tyco Suzuki squad, which has been renamed following a change of sponsorship for the 2012 campaign. He made his first appearance at the Cookstown 100 meeting in preparation for the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT. Martin brought his race season to a close winning five races at Scarborough's Oliver Mount Gold Cup. He also took part in the Ryan Farquhar Parade lap on one of Ryan's own KMR Kawasaki's.
North West 200
Following on from the Cookstown meeting, Martin was set to campaign in all the main races at the North West 200, as a prelude to working up for the Isle of Man TT. However, during the Supersport race he crashed. As a consequence, he was left with a suspected head injury, which resulted in his team manager, Philip Neill, withdrawing Martin from the remainder of the racing programme.
This led to rumours of a 'bust-up' with the Suzuki Team, and resulted in Martin's team boss, Hector Neill, being interviewed on Manx Radio TT 365 prior to the TT, during which Neill scotched such rumours as; "Media inspired skulduggery. Paddock tittle-tattle and unfounded hear-say".
Isle of Man TT
Martin's start to the 2012 TT Festival saw him competing – in a private capacity – at the Pre-TT Classic races at the Billown Circuit, Castletown. Martin was lucky to escape injury while competing in the superbike race, and was battling for the lead of the race on a Suzuki XR69 with Jamie Coward, when he crashed on the final lap. This again led to reports of tension, as the Pre-TT races do not form any part of the main TT racing programme, and posed a potential injury risk to Martin before the TT had begun in earnest. During the practice week for the 2012 Isle of Man TT, Martin made steady progress – albeit amid rumours of differing opinions with his team's management regarding machinery set-up and the team's choice of Pirelli tyres.
Martin made a good start to the Superbike TT, and at the end of the first lap he was lying in third place behind John McGuinness and Cameron Donald. He continued to hold station during the following three laps, but a problem during his final pit stop at the end of lap four, resulted in the team being unable to replace his rear tyre. As a consequence of diminishing grip from a fading tyre, Martin was overtaken on corrected time by Bruce Anstey by the end of lap five, although he did hold on to finish fourth with a time of 1hr.47.20 at an average speed of 126.54 mph. This was followed by fifth place in the Superstock race, a retirement in the first Supersport race and 8th place in the second Supersport outing.
Rumours continued to circulate throughout the week about Martin's differences with his team, perhaps instigated by Martin's lateness of signing a contract at the start of the season, although as practice week went on, it was obvious the rumours regarding Martin's split from his team were untrue. The Senior race was scheduled to take place on its traditional Friday – June 8. However, following adverse weather, the race was postponed until Saturday, June 9. As a consequence of continued poor weather, the decision to cancel the Senior TT was taken. This was the first time in the race's 105 year history that the Senior had been cancelled due to weather.
2012 TT Results
|Race||Position||Time (HH:MM:SS)||Speed (Mph)||Replica|
|Supersport Race 1||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF|
|Supersport Race 2||8th||01:15:17.95||120.256||Silver|
|Senior||Race Cancelled||Race Cancelled||Race Cancelled||Race Cancelled|
2013 TT Results
|Race||Position||Time (HH:MM:SS)||Speed (Mph)||Replica|
|Supersport Race 1||6th||01:13:17.846||123.540||Silver|
|Supersport Race 2||8th||01:14:07.563||122.159||Silver|
2014 TT Results
|Race||Position||Time (HH:MM:SS)||Speed (Mph)||Replica|
|Supersport Race 1||6th||01:13:44.591||122.794||Silver|
|Supersport Race 2||10th||01:14:30.161||121.542||Silver|
Ulster Grand Prix
Since first competing in 2004, Martin has notched up 11 wins including a hat trick of victories at the 2013 meeting winning the Supersport 1, UGP Superbike and Superbike categories.
Film and television
The Boat that Guy Built (BBC TV)
In March 2011 BBC One broadcast the educational documentary series The Boat that Guy Built. In the show Martin along with his childhood friend "Mavis" (Mark Davis) renovate a narrow boat, called Reckless, travelling on the canal network using the inventions of the Industrial Revolution. The programme includes reconstructions of early industrial processes such as smelting iron. The programme is narrated by Liza Tarbuck.
TT3D Closer to the Edge
TT3D: Closer to the Edge is a documentary film about the Isle of Man TT races. The film examines what motivates the riders who race the TT and risk everything to become "King of the Mountain". Filmed in 3D, the film is a story about freedom of choice and the strength of human spirit. The film follows the leading riders in the 2010 race meeting, in particular Martin and Ian Hutchinson.
How Britain Worked (Channel 4 TV)
Martin presented How Britain Worked, a 2012 series on Channel 4 that focused on a number of engineering projects from the Industrial Revolution. Guy's best friend 'Mavis' made a reappearance in 2 episodes, as well as his fiancée Stephanie who worked with him down a coal mine demonstrating how important women were when working down the mines. The series was also featured in an accompanying book of the same name published by Virgin Books (ISBN 0753540843).
Speed with Guy Martin (Channel 4 TV)
Martin features in a Channel 4 series, Speed with Guy Martin, which started on 29 December 2013. In the series, Martin attempts to break four speed records. In the first episode, Martin and his team broke the British and Commonwealth motor-paced cycling record, when Martin pedaled at a speed of 112.94 mph behind a modified racing truck. In the final episode he set a new world sledge speed record of 83.5 mph, beating the previous record (62.25 mph) by over 21 mph.
Guy Martin's Passion for Life (Channel 4 TV)
The Channel 4 series consists of two short episodes. It offers an insight into the man behind the leathers and how he "switches off" between the stresses of lapping the Isle of Man TT and also looking at some of his hobbies. In the second episode he shows off his prized possession, his Rolls Royce Merlin engine.
Guy Martin's Spitfire (Channel 4 TV)
Guy Martin joins the two-year restoration of a Spitfire I, N3200, coded 'QV', that was buried in a French beach for 46 years (1940-1986), and tells the Boy's Own-style story of its pilot, Squadron Leader Geoffrey Stephenson.
- Let the countdown to next year begin. Tania Nadarajah (13 June 2011) ITV Sport "The thrilling six-lap competition saw Guy Martin leading for the first two laps, much to the crowd’s delight." Retrieved 2012-10-24
- Guy Martin Generates Heat at Isle of Man TT Madson, Bart motorcycle-usa.com (25 June 2010) "Guy Martin generated considerable heat at this year’s Isle of Man TT, both literal and figurative." (..) "Buckmaster cites Martin’s disrespectful podium/press conference demeanour, and also takes issue with statements made by Martin in a magazine interview regarding a PTR staff member." Retrieved 2012-10-24
- Gary Inman (November 2010). "Guy Martin and his Aston Martin V12 Vantage". EVO Magazine. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- "2009 TT Results". Isle of Man TT (ACU Events Ltd.). 2009-06-13. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- "History man Hutchinson makes it a clean sweep at the 2010 TT". Isle of Man TT (ACU Events Ltd.). 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- "Ian Hutchinson clinches five-timer at Isle of Man TT". BBC Sport (BBC). 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- "Buckmaster launches scathing attack on Martin". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
- "Buckmaster tells fans to get courage or shut up". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
- "2010 TT Results". Isle of Man TT (ACU Events Ltd.). 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- "2011 TT Results". Isle of Man TT (ACU Events Ltd.). 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
- "Guy Martin’s North West 200 Crash". 2WheelTuesday. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- http://www.Manxradiott365.com/RadioTT News, Monday, May 28th,2012.
- "Isle of Man TT | ITV Sport". Itv.com. 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- "Isle of Man TT Races Fuelled by Monster Energy: Positions at the end of Lap One". Iomtt.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- [dead link]
- "The Boat that Guy Built". BBC History Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
- "How Britain Worked". Channel 4. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- "Motorcycle star Guy Martin ready to make TV return". Grimsby Telegraph. October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- "How Britain Worked". Random House. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
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