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£200,000 worth of Tyco BMW race bikes stolen from Derry TAS team in Birmingham


Guy Martin on the S1000RR Superbike

Guy Martin on the S1000RR Superbike

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Guy Martin on the S1000RR Superbike

A motorbike ridden by racing superstar Guy Martin was one of four - worth a total of around £200,000 - stolen from Co Londonderry-based team.

The four Tyco BMW race bikes were taken from the hugely-successful Moneymore team TAS Racing from a Premier Inn car park near the NEC exhibition centre in Birmingham.

TAS Racing - one of the most successful teams in road racing history - is owned and run by father and son pairing Hector and Philip Neill.

Shell-shocked Philip, who manages the day-to-day business at TAS Racing, said: "We put our heart and soul into motorcycle racing and these bikes have real sentimental value.

"For this to happen is just devastating, especially as the bikes were only at Motorcycle Live (the UK's largest bike show), so that race fans could see them up close and personal.

"There was no commercial value in them being there, apart from supporting BMW and the exhibition itself, but I know full well that this is not down to the widespread fan base we have in the UK," said Neill, who heaped praise on everyone who took the time to support the safe return of the bikes on social media.

The stolen race bikes included a 2015 Guy Martin S1000RR Superbike that he rode at the Isle of Man TT, and Christian Iddon's 2016 British Superbike.

Motorcycle racer Martin (35) is a familiar face on Ulster roads, as well as on our television screens on shows such as Speed with Guy Martin.

Both Martin and the Neills have a long TT heritage, with Martin earning 15 podium finishes.

Two Superstock machines were also taken - one being the treble winning S1000RR that 14-time Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson rode to victory at this year's NW200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.

The fourth, another BMW S1000RR is a practice bike used by Iddon in white livery.

TAS Racing has more than 60 combined wins at the Vauxhall International North West 200, Isle of Man TT and MCE Ulster Grand Prix.

Having studied hotel CCTV footage, West Midlands Police said the bikes were stolen from the team's race transporters between 10.30pm on Sunday and 3.30am on Monday.

The security camera footage showed the bikes were taken away in a white Ford Transit van.

Both West Midlands Police and TAS Racing have appealed for information that could lead to the return of the valuable motorcycles.

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