Fan favorite Guy Martin is returning to the Isle of Man TT, signing on to join longtime Honda factory rider John McGuinness to ride the new CBR1000RR SP2. The two will ride the Fireblade in the Superbike class in both the Isle of Man TT and the North West 200.
For Martin, this marks his return to road racing after taking 2016 off to focus on bicycle racing and his various other projects. Honda Racing team manager Neil Tuxworth convinced Martin to return with a chance to get his elusive first TT win on the new CBR.
“Neil 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,” says Martin. “I spent a lot of time on my pushbike 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 I’ve thought it is the right decision.”
He has a ways to go to catch his new teammate, McGuinness whose 23 TT wins puts him second all-time and just three back of Joey Dunlop. Many of McGuinness’ wins came on the outgoing CBR1000RR model.
“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,” says McGuinness. “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.”
The 2017 North West 200 runs May 7-13 in Northern Ireland. The Isle of Man TT races starts with June 3 with qualifying beginning on May 27.