TT 2017: Guy Martin and Honda withdraw from Senior race

Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Fireblade during TT practice.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Fireblade during TT practice.

Guy Martin and Honda Racing have withdrawn from Friday’s feature PokerStars Senior TT.

The news was confirmed in a statement on Friday morning, which said a lack of practice time around the Mountain Course with the new Fireblade SP2 had resulted in the joint decision between rider and team.

Martin crashed on the opening lap of the RST Superbike race last Sunday at Doran’s Bend and later said a false neutral caused the incident. He is set to ride in the TT Zero race on the Mugen.

The 35-year-old, who was back at the TT for the first time since 2015, said: “I came back to the TT this year to race and try to win with Honda Racing. I’ve done loads of testing and the team have been flat out, before we got here and at the event.

“But we’re not doing the times needed to be competitive here, we need more time to set up the bike and doing six laps will not achieve what we set out to do and I’ve always reckoned this is not the place to be out riding just to make up the numbers, so as a team we agreed it wasn’t right competing in the Senior TT. With the weather and my crash I’ve done plenty of tea drinking and dog walking.

“I’m looking forward to racing the Mugen, it’s a real honour to race the most interesting bike in the paddock. I’ll see how I can do and I’m looking forward to then getting back to work Monday.”

Honda Racing team manager Johnny Twelvetrees said Martin is keen to race at the Southern 100 next month on the Fireblade and also at the Ulster Grand Prix in August.

“We’re disappointed not to be taking part in today’s Senior TT, a decision that is ultimately due to a lack of track time for Guy on the Fireblade.

“We came here to race and everyone in the team – who have worked extremely hard over the last few months – was looking forward to seeing what the new bike could do. Guy informed me that he wouldn’t race in the Senior, which is a tough decision to make but one I can understand given the lack of practice we’ve had,” he added.

“The good news is that Guy has told me that even though the TT hasn’t worked out, he’s keen to take part in the Southern 100 next month and try to get the most from the Fireblade there. We wish a safe race to all the competitors and teams involved.”

John McGuinness was ruled out of the TT this year after crashing the Honda Fireblade during qualifying at the North West 200, sustaining a compound fracture to his lower right leg amongst other injuries.