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Superstar Guy Martin to light up the Tandragee 100 Road Races

By Paul Lindsay

The Guy Martin roadshow is set to roll into town for the Around A Pound Tandragee 100 Road Races this weekend, with the television celebrity set to debut one of Honda Racing's all-new SP2 Superstock machines.

Martin, from Lincolnshire, has become a national treasure since his secondment to full time TV work after being discovered in the road racing paddock a number of years ago by the broadcasting lovelies.

But to his credit, his passion for anything two-wheels has never diminished, and while he has made the conscious decision to dilute his racing involvement to a mere 'bucket list', which more often than not involves a lucrative financial broadcasting deal, both the Tandragee and Cookstown 100 events are set to benefit from his return to action.

Martin has just returned from Japan, where he was testing the Mugen battery-powered TT Zero machine, alongside new Honda team-mate John McGuinness, that may well give him his best ever chance of a coveted Isle of Man TT victory in June.

It's not something the purists will ever regard as a 'proper' Isle of Man TT victory, but that's a story for another day; for now, it's all about Tandragee's little County Armagh circuit, a 200bhp 1000cc SP2 Honda and the most enigmatic racer to grace the motorcycling paddocks since Barry Sheene.

Honorary Secretary at the North Armagh Motorcycle Club, Anne Forsythe, said that the club is delighted to welcome Martin to the Tandragee 100.

"We already had a bit of international flavour on the entry list this weekend, which is great, but who wouldn't want Guy Martin on their race grid," she explained.

"We've had great press coverage since we announced his confirmed entry last month, and I know of people who are coming along just to rub shoulders with him and they've never been to a road race in their lives," Anne added.

Martin will compete in both the Open and Around A Pound Tandragee 100 feature races aboard one of Honda's all-new SP2 Honda Fireblade Superstock machines. This will be Martin's first time competing at the County Armagh venue since he last raced in the colours of Uel Duncan Racing and Robinson Concrete back in 2005.

Saturday's eight race programme concludes with the Around A Pound Tandragee 100 Senior Open Race, which boasts prize money of over £2000. The winner of the feature race will collect £1000.

Michael Dunlop will be conspicuous by his absence at Tandragee and with William Dunlop only set to ride 600cc machinery, it will be left to Cookstown B.E Racing's Derek Sheils to give Martin his sternest test in the Open class.

Roads close tomorrow for practice from 3pm through to 9pm. On Race Day, Saturday, roads will close at 10am.

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