A first TT podium, Scarborough Gold Cup winner, Guy Martin is certainly setting the “roads” scene alight… we caught up with
Guy just as his successful 2005 season was coming to an end…
When did you first consciously decide that you were going to race in the Isle of Man TT?
In early ’03 when I joined “Team Racing”; it just seemed the natural thing to do after I started to ride the Irish “roads”. Even when
short circuit racing I always looked up to the likes of DJ and Jim Moodie because they weren’t solely doing the BSB circuits.
At what point did you realise you’d achieved your first TT podium position – can you explain your feelings?
I didn’t know I got in the first three until the marshal pointed me into the Winners’ Enclosure, saying P3 + 0. Best feeling in my racing
career up to now, not just for me but for the team. It was their first international podium – massive thanks to Johnny, Gareth Robinson,
Dad and Uel Duncan.
You’ve achieved a great deal in a short period of time at the TT – how did you set about learning the course?
I learnt the course by way of the Hailwood Foundation, with my visits being organised by Norman Gordon and the great Davy Wood;
also many painful hours for me and my girlfriend watching the 2001 DJ on board lap – very handy.
To what extent do you attribute your success to your Dad, former TT competitor, Ian? Who has helped you in your successes during 2005?
My Dad has always been a big help in my career, never directing me in which way to go, just in support for whatever I wanted to do.
He never mentioned anything about the TT, it was just my choice. He has also been a great influence in my other career – working with
engines. I grew up sitting in his workshop, watching him build engines and preparing bikes. I love building and tuning the bikes as
much as riding them, all thanks to my Dad’s attention to detail. He’s a perfectionist! My mechanic, Johnny, played a massive part at
this year’s TT, for the faultless pit stops, as did Gareth Robinson, my main sponsor.
By this time next year, TT 2006 will be over – what are your aims for next year’s event? What about a works contract?
Got two works contracts in the pot at the moment, but I’ll have to sacrifice my engine building for one of them, so I don’t think I’ll
taking either of them as I need to build my own engine. That’s what it’s all about for me, especially at the TT. You need to know what
makes a bike tick to get through the six laps. The only results I’m looking for at TT 2006 are wins – you’ve got to have high hopes and
You have obviously elected to be a “real road” rather than a ”short circuit” racer – why? ….and, have you any desire to develop your skills to reach
the highest level in short circuit racing?
All I think about at the moment is winning the TT. I’m competing at Brands Hatch in the last BSB round, but really only to keep myself sharp for short circuits. It’s two different types of riding; I don’t think it helps you on the roads by doing the short circuits and visa versa. It’s
not just the riding, its also the people involved with short circuit racing, they seem to be a bit more like “prima donnas” whereas on the roads everyone is much more genuine – what you see is what you get. I don’t try to be something I’m not; short circuit men have different ideas!
No doubt your lap speeds will increase next June – on which parts of the course will you be looking to “make up time and increase speeds”?
Little line gains everywhere, but mainly where there is a fast corner leading on to a
straight….Crosby, Glen Vine, Joey’s, 32nd and 33rd – this is where the time is made up.
Sadly, accidents are an occupational hazard of real road racing – how do you cope when there has been a serious incident at a meeting in which you are
Just get on with it; we all know the risks – I accept them.
Your arrival on the TT racing scene has coincided with a change in regime with respect to the organisation of the event – how do you think the Manx
Motorcycle Club and Recruitment / Liaison Officers, Paul Phillips and Milky Quayle will improve the event?
They are the future of the TT; they have the job sussed. It’s so easy to see what they’ve achieved after only six months, so 06 and 07
should be spot on. They’re doing an awesome job on all fronts, especially rider recruitment.
If you had an input into the TT organisation, what improvements would you make and how do you see the format of the meeting, say in 5 years time?
A shorter event would make sense; in that way it would cost the teams less money and not clash with BSB. I would also change the
way in which the bikes are checked for illegalities after each race. The present system causes the rider and team a lot of unwanted
Overall, what would you like to achieve in your road racing career?
Win the TT in 06 and 07 with my own engines. Continue competing at the TT beyond 07 - the buzz you get there can’t be
found anywhere else.
All of us, I am sure concur with Guy’s last answer…certain to have a starring role in future TTs, we wish Guy well and thank him
for his assistance with this article.