Ulster Grand Prix crash stalls biker Guy Martin's world record bid
Road racing star Guy Martin's spectacular crash at the Ulster Grand Prix could cost him the chance of breaking the world motorcycle landspeed record later this year.
The self-confessed adrenalin junkie had been planning to pilot a modified Triumph Rocket III Streamliner on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, with the current record of 376.363mph in his sights.
Success would have seen the English rider and TV personality bring the title back to the UK after a 45-year absence. But Martin (left) must now undergo a back operation, having broken vertebrae as well as ribs and his sternum, in the Dundrod 150 race on Thursday night. The Grimsby man was leading the race before losing control of his Tyco BMW machine at 100mph on the last lap.
He was taken to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment and will play no part in today's Ulster Grand Prix races.
Martin's team initially tweeted: "Guy is banged about a bit but nothing broken".
His sister, however, later posted that the biggest name in road racing will require a back operation.
As yet, no decision has been made regarding the 33-year-old's world record attempt on the specially built, 25.5ft long, 1000bhp bike but it's highly likely that the attempt will now be postponed indefinitely.
It has already been delayed once because of a lack of salt on the Flats.
Martin, star of the highly-acclaimed documentary Close To The Edge, was also planning a televised attempt at breaking the 100mph barrier on the Wall of Death - the legendary carnival attraction where a motorcycle is ridden around a wooden cylinder, defying gravity only by centrifugal force.
The 11-time Ulster Grand Prix winner was recently reported to be considering giving up road racing at the end of this season to concentrate on his burgeoning television career.
Martin's team manager Philip Neill said: "Our thoughts are with Guy at this point in time, and although it is a real shame he will not be racing this weekend the important thing is that he recovers from his injuries and is back on his feet.
"Unfortunately he got caught out by the high-side, which has ended his Ulster Grand Prix for 2015, but full credit must go to the organisers for the improved safety measures at the circuit."
He's a lucky Guy; see sport, page 56