International road racing star Guy Martin is set to make his Lightweight TT debut on the Mountain Course in June on a Kawasaki.
The Tyco Suzuki rider is among the entries for the 650cc race, which takes place prior to the blue riband Senior TT on the final day of the two-week festival on the Isle of Man on Friday, June 6.
Martin is still seeking his maiden TT victory and has raised expectations that 2014 could finally be his year following an impressive end to last season, during which the Tyco Suzuki rider clinched victory in the feature Solo Championship race at the Southern 100 plus a magnificent treble at the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod.
The 32-year-old will miss the Cookstown 100 next month to compete in the opening round of the Endurance World Championship at the famous Bol d’Or meeting at Magny-Cours in France.
Martin is altering his build up to the beginning of the international road races this year to gain as much track time as possible in an effort to hit the ground running, rather than flourishing in the second half of the season.
Signed by Northern Ireland’s TAS Racing team for a fourth consecutive season, the News Letter understands that Martin is preparing a Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin machine for the Lightweight class, which will also give him the benefit of additional track time at the TT.
He completed an extensive test at Almeria in Spain along with new team-mate William Dunlop this month, but missed Barry Symmons’ Pro-Test at Cartagena.
Entries for the TT closed at the end of February, confirming a star-studded line-up of riders and teams headed by 20-time winner John McGuinness in the official Honda Racing outfit and Ulster’s Michael Dunlop, who will ride a factory-supported BMW S1000R in the Superbike and Senior races plus his own MD Racing BMW in the Superstock class.
Dunlop is also entered in the Lightweight race at the TT. The seven-time winner completed some practice laps on the McAdoo Racing Kawasaki ER6 last year but opted to miss the race to focus on the flagship Senior event instead.
Martin’s first road race outing will be at the annual Ian Watson Spring Cup meeting at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough on April 13, when 28-year-old Dunlop will also take the opportunity to gain some extra miles on the GSX-R machines before the Cookstown 100 - the first race of the Irish road racing calendar - on April 26.
Ryan Farquhar will also compete at the Scarborough event on his KMR Kawasaki Supertwin machine and although national road racing’s most successful ever competitor has no plans to ride at Cookstown, the Dungannon man will make his Irish national roads return at the Tandragee 100 with Scottish challenger Keith Amor on Saturday, May 3.