Tyco BMW’s Guy Martin will have to wait another year to bid for a dazzling dozen victories at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix after being ruled out of the Dundrod showpiece through injury.
The 33-year-old Lincolnshire star came off in Thursday’s Superbike event at the Plant Lubrication NI Dundrod 150 meeting while holding a narrow lead over Bruce Anstey on the final lap.
Martin, who is the fourth most successful rider ever in the history of the Ulster GP with 11 wins – three behind Phillip McCallen – was high-sided from his S1000RR on the exit of Ireland’s corner.
It was initially thought that Martin had escaped without any broken bones, however scans later revealed that the popular English rider had sustained fractured vertebrae, broken ribs and a broken sternum.
He was due to undergo surgery on his fractured vertebrae on Friday at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
The section of the 7.4-mile course where Martin came off also caught out Bradford rider Dean Harrison last year, bringing down Dan Kneen and Keith Amor in the same incident.
lster GP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston, said safety work carried out at Ireland’s over the winter had undoubtedly saved Martin from more serious injuries.
“It was one of the areas we looked at following the incident with Dean Harrison last year as part of our regular risk assessments and we pressed ahead to have the bank removed on the exit,” Johnston said.
“There’s no question that Guy’s injuries could have been worse otherwise, plus the removal of the bank also prevented his bike from bouncing back into the path of another rider.
“It’s obviously disappointing that Guy has been ruled out because he was one of the main favourites, but an excellent race in still in prospect at Dundrod and with a good forecast, everyone is looking forward to a good day.”