When autograph hunters are standing patiently five deep in a road racing paddock, it can only mean one thing — Guy Martin is ‘in the house’.
The fast-talking, tea-drinking TV celebrity also races bikes the odd time these days, and on Saturday afternoon, the Lincolnshire man was more relaxed and chatty than ever, after taking the feature race victory at Dundrod: the McKinstry Skip Hire UGP Superbike race.
“We won the ‘B’ race last year,” was how he cheekily described the second Superbike race at Dundrod. “But this year we’ve won the big one; the real deal.
“It’s the boy to win here isn’t it? Yeah it is.
“That other one we made a big deal about last year as we won it, but when you win the big one yeah that’s the race to win at the Ulster Grand Prix,” he smiled.
Last season Martin struggled to deal with the publicity that came from his mounting TV and film fame, but on Saturday at Dundrod he was more than happy to sit down, away from the safety of his Tyco Suzuki team awning to sign autographs and chat to his fans.
He even gave away his victory champagne to one thirsty and lucky punter.
“I love it here at the Ulster. It’s always been good to me and it’s proper,” he said.
“By that I mean a real road race circuit.
“When you win here you’ve won a race. You know you’ve won as you have to ride bloody hard,” he added.
Saturday’s victory in the feature race over man-of-the-moment Michael Dunlop really pleased Martin, not so much in beating Dunlop, but more so because he ironed out some frustrating problems he’s been having with set-up this year.
“We’ve been racing like that all year,” he said, referring to Michael Dunlop.
“But that’s the first time I was able to ride like I wanted. I know I can beat him; yeah I’ve known that for some time.
“He’s a good rider, but there were a few things I was wanting changing,” was his guarded yet technical reply.
“We’ve had the top boys here from Pirelli tyres this week, which is just the job and Philip and I have sorted a few other bits and pieces. The big Suzuki is mega and we are nearly there,” he explained, hanging onto the words and demonstrating the size of the task they faced with his all action hands and arms.
When asked about the final race of the day, where he narrowly lost out to his biggest rival, he screwed up his face, stalled, smiled and replied: “The b****er I did all I could to hold him off, but he made the pass and fair play to him.”
What a Guy.