Guy Martin stuns TAS Racing with TT and NW200 vow

Guy Martin apologises to Mervyn Whyte after criticising the North West 200 circuit in May.
Guy Martin apologises to Mervyn Whyte after criticising the North West 200 circuit in May.

Isle of Man TT nearly-man Guy Martin has shed more light on his current state of mind regarding his future career in road racing by vowing to skip the Mountain showpiece next June.

In a cryptic message recently on his official YouTube channel, the Lincolnshire star hinted that he was set to scale down his racing activities next season by claiming he had made a decision on his plans, which would ‘upset a few people’.

Martin’s statement raised speculation he had made up his mind to compete in the Tour Divide mountain bike event in North America instead, which clashes with the TT in 2016.

And the Grimsby rider is set to leave thousands of road racing fans disappointed after revealing in his new book, When You Dead, You Dead, that he intends to do just that.

Martin, who also says he won’t return to the North West 200 next May after causing a stir this year by launching a live-on-air rant over the number of ‘boring’ chicanes around the 8.9-mile course, confirmed he intends to skip the TT but is open to coming back in 2017.

The news will come as a blow to Northern Ireland’s Tyco BMW outfit and it remains to be seen whether team boss Philip Neill seeks a replacement for Martin to partner new signing Ian Hutchinson at the two international meetings in 2016.

“I’m hoping to sort it with TAS that I can do all the races I normally do except the North West and TT,” said Martin in his latest autobiography, who still hopes to compete at his favourite events next year such as the Scarborough meetings at Oliver’s Mount, the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man, the Armoy ‘Race of Legends’ and the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod.

“I want to enter the Tour Divide then maybe go back to the TT the year after.”

The 33-year-old’s outburst at the North West, which later led to Martin publicly apologising to Race Director Mervyn Whyte for his comments on the morning of the famous race, led many to believe that Martin had raced at the ‘Triangle’ meeting for the final time.

Certainly, Martin’s claims in his new autobiography appear to signal an end to his association with the legendary race on the North Coast where, like the TT, he has never managed a win.

“I left Northern Ireland thinking, I’m not going back to the North West,” Martin says.

The truck fitter and TV presenter was fortunate to escape with broken vertebrae following a huge crash at Ireland’s bend while leading the Dundrod 150 race at the Ulster Grand Prix in August and hasn’t raced since.

His name appeared on the official entry list for November’s Suncity Group Macau Grand Prix in the Far East under the Tyco BMW banner, but Martin was a late withdrawal for the event.

News of Martin’s intended absence from the TT will leave many disappointed next year and although the North West 200 does not seem to be on his radar in 2016, at least his adoring Ulster fans will have the opportunity to see him in action at Armoy and Dundrod.

Regardless of whether or not TAS Racing agree to allow Martin to pick and choose his races, road racing’s biggest name won’t be short of offers when it comes to obtaining competitive machinery for the races he has placed at the top of his agenda.