Belfast Telegraph

Guy Martin retires from road racing after nightmare return

By Jack de Menezes

Guy Martin has announced his retirement from road racing with immediate effect after enduring a nightmare return with Honda Racing this year.

The fan favourite suffered a disappointing year after 12 months away from the sport, with his running at the North West 200 in May curtailed prematurely following a serious crash for his teammate, John McGuinness, before suffering his own accident at the Isle of Man TT in June.

The 35-year-old Martin returned to road racing this year after spending a year away from the sport to recover from serious injuries suffered in a crash at the Ulster Grand Prix as well as focusing on his television commitments, but was lured back into the saddle by Honda in his quest to claim his first Isle of Man TT victory.

However, after failing in his quest to top the podium on his return to the road, MCN have reported that Martin will hang up his leathers for good after growing “bored” with the sport, leaving Honda’s factory team without a rider for the remainder of their road racing season given that McGuinness is still recovering from the broken leg he suffered at the North West 200.

“Racing’s been good to me, but I’m bored of it,” said Martin. “You spend the early part of the year preparing for the season – testing, racing, talking about it, and then doing it all over again. It’s like Groundhog Day. It’s time to stop.”

Martin’s return coincided with the introduction of the new Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2 that by all accounts has been a tricky bike to master. McGuinness’ accident in Northern Ireland was revealed this week to have been caused by an ECU error that caused the throttle to blip mid-corner, while Martin’s bike forced itself into neutral during this year’s Superbike TT that caused him to crash at the 120mph Doran’s Bend.

Martin and Honda decided to pull out of the remaining Senior TT, with the Kirmington-born rider participating in the supersport category aboard the Wilson Craig Honda as well as the TT Zero on the electrical-powered Mugen, and after announcing this week that he had withdrawn from the Ulster Grand Prix, Martin has called time on his career.

Martin told The Independent earlier this year that a second year with Honda was something of interest if the Japanese manufacturer were prepared to keep him for 2018, but the lack of progress this season on the roads has led to both parties severing ties, with Martin now set to return to his TV commitments with a motorcycle land-speed record attempt on the horizon.

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