Guy Martin planning Tandragee and Cookstown return on TT comeback trail

Honda Racing's Guy Martin.
Honda Racing's Guy Martin.

Irish road racing fans are in for a treat next month with crowd-puller Guy Martin planning to compete at the Tandragee and Cookstown National meetings prior to the North West 200 in May.

The News Letter can exclusively reveal that the motorcycling superstar is lining up an Irish road racing double, with the 35-year-old poised to return to the Tandragee 100 on April 22 for the first time since 2005, with Cookstown taking place a week later on April 29.

Martin has been a regular at the Cookstown 100 in recent seasons but it has been 12 years since the 35-year-old appeared at Tandragee, where he finished third and fifth in the Superbike races and fourth in the 600cc event on his last appearance in the Uel Duncan Racing colours at the North Armagh meeting.

The truck mechanic and TV presenter sensationally announced his racing comeback in January, when he was unveiled as John McGuinness’s new team-mate in the official Honda Racing squad.

Martin hasn’t raced on the roads at the highest level since a serious crash in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2015. He sat out the whole of last season and skipped the Isle of Man TT to participate in the ultra-tough Tour Divide mountain bike race.

Martin is required to compete in at least six competitive races in order to obtain his TT licence and the Cookstown and Tandragee meetings present an excellent opportunity to tick some events off the list and gain valuable track time.

Martin, who is set to ride his Honda Superstock Fireblade at both meetings, was in action for the first time at Monteblanco in Spain last week, joining McGuinness at a private test where both riders clocked up the miles on their ’stock machines.

Although he has yet to win a TT, Martin has built up an unrivalled following in motorcycle road racing.

And the prospect of the sport’s biggest star returning to his Irish road racing roots on his TT comeback trail will have fans and organisers alike rubbing their hands with glee.

Martin will also race at the Ulster GP in August and is expected to return to the ‘Race of Legends’ at Armoy in July.