Retro Rewind: Guy Martin's final victory fling at the Ulster Grand Prix
The colourful Lincolnshire man also missed out on victory at the North West 200 during his storied career, but one place where he enjoyed some of his greatest racing moments was at
Dundrod, ironically the same venue where his career as one of the sport’s leading lights was effectively ended.
Martin was leading Bruce Anstey in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race when he crashed on the exit of Ireland’s corner in 2015 at around 120mph.
Newly-introduced safety measures at that particular section of the 7.4-mile course, including the removal of a hedge, prevented the English star from suffering more serious injuries.
As it was, Martin sustained five broken vertebrae and a broken sternum in the incident and he never again managed to hit the same heights he once scaled.
A short-lived and highly-publicised return with Honda Racing in 2017 proved disastrous after the factory team withdrew from the North West 200 following John McGuinness’s crash on the new Fireblade in qualifying.
Martin himself then came off at high speed on the opening lap of the Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT at Doran’s Bend.
As a result, Honda dramatically pulled out of the Senior race against a backdrop of safety concerns with the SP2, with an unexpected throttle blip eventually confirmed as having contributed to McGuinness’s big North West 200 off.
Lorry mechanic Martin has since made several appearances at Irish road races on classic machinery and away from the sport, he has carved out a career as a popular television presenter of engineering-based projects and is the author of a series of best-selling books.
However, road racing fans will always remember his exploits at the Ulster Grand Prix in particular, where he won 11 times to become the fifth most successful rider ever at Dundrod.
In 2013, Martin bagged a treble, winning both Superbike races and the opening Supersport event on the Tyco Suzuki machines for Northern Ireland’s TAS Racing outfit.
He edged out Michael Dunlop on the Honda Legends Fireblade by only 0.054 seconds in the feature Superbike race, with William Dunlop taking third on the Milwaukee Yamaha, 10 seconds back.
From pole, Martin opened a slender advantage in the big race of the day after taking the lead.
William briefly passed his younger brother for second as Martin began to pull a slight gap. By the midway point of the race, the 31-year-old led by 1.5 seconds, but Honda rider Dunlop – back into second place – was beginning to hunt him down.
On the sixth and penultimate lap, Dunlop had hauled himself on to the rear wheel of Martin’s GSX-R1000 at the Lindsay Hairpin to set up a grandstand finish.
There was nothing in it as the duo pushed themselves to the limit, but Martin refused to capitulate.
Slower riders entered the mix at the hairpin and Dunlop was unable to make one final attempt to outwit his old adversary, who never put a foot wrong as he defended his lines.
Dunlop (24) set the only 133mph lap of the day on his final lap at 133.130mph.
Martin said: “I rode real wide lines and went as fast as I could. The gap was coming and it was up to a second and a half, but I caught some back-markers and Michael got back onto us then, but I kept it tight on the last lap.
“I was waiting for a do or die move at the hairpin, so yeah, I’m over the moon.”
Martin, who had earlier opened his account with victory in a wet Supersport race by 0.075 seconds from Bruce Anstey, completed his hat-trick with a comfortable win in the second Superbike race – his 11th and final triumph at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Dunlop did not start the race after developing a problem with his Honda, leaving Martin with a smoother path to victory as he led all the way, winning by four seconds from Anstey (Padgett’s Honda) and Conor Cummins (Milwaukee Yamaha).
Now a seven-time a Superbike winner at the UGP, Martin said: “I’m over the moon. What a way to seal the deal for next year with the Tyco Suzuki boys.
“It wasn’t easy but we made a couple of little changes to the bike and they made a difference.
“Great racing and well done to the organisers for getting it off well, and I’m pleased to win the ‘man of the meeting award’. Now it’s time for the boat home.”