The chairman of Cookstown Motorcycle Club has moved to clarify the circumstances surrounding Guy Martin’s entry for this month’s KDM Hire Cookstown 100 road races.
The former top international racer turned TV presenter came in for criticism on social media last year after pulling out of the Irish national meeting a few days before the event.
Martin had entered the Classic race on his own BSA Rocket 3 machine, but was forced to withdraw due to gearbox problems, with insufficient time available to source new parts.
In March, the Cookstown 100 organisers issued a statement revealing Martin had once again entered the race this year. However, it later transpired that the 37-year-old’s entry was submitted on a provisional basis, sparking further criticism of the 11-time Ulster Grand Prix winner and the club.
In response, club chairman John Dillon has issued a statement to provide more clarity around Martin’s possible participation, claiming the organisers only learned his entry was provisional after they were contacted by the racer’s management team following publication of an article in the Press.
Mr Dillon’s statement in full said: “As chairman of Cookstown Motorcycle Club, I wish to issue a statement in regards to the provisional entry of Guy Martin in the upcoming Cookstown 100 races.
“In recent weeks the Cookstown club received an entry to the classic race from Guy Martin. This entry had been presented at a club meeting a few weeks ago as it had just been received a short time before the meeting was ready to commence.
“In the following days an article was published in reflection of Guy’s entry to the event. After the said article had went out, Guy’s management team made contact with the club and explained that Guy’s entry was on a provisional basis and that although Guy fully intends to compete at Cookstown Road Races this year, he did not want to disappoint fans or the Cookstown Club in the event (that he would be unable to compete) as he is at other events before the race; and he would have preferred a later announcement closer to the event.
“As chairman I apologise to Guy’s management team and if aware of this, the club would have respected Guy’s wishes and held off on any public announcement.
“Unfortunately, as this was only made clear after the article had been published and it was already on social media platforms by then, this official statement (was issued) to be honest and upfront with the general public as soon as possible to ensure there are no disappointed fans or spectators, although to date there are no indications that Guy will not be at the Cookstown 100.
“As this has been an upfront and honest statement on the current situation regarding Guy’s entry, and one which has been issued for the benefit of Guy’s fans and spectators to understand the current circumstances, I would ask the media and general public to not speculate or jump to conclusions, but rely solely on the facts which have been issued in this statement.”
The KDM Hire Cookstown 100 will take place from April 26-27.