His fame once limited to the relatively close limits of motorcycle road racing, Guy Martin has become one of the most recognizable faces on British television.
Having now, in her own words, left ‘serious’ racing on super-fast public road circuits, the 39-year-old cult figure from Lincolnshire has presented programs on various engineering topics, as well as the Channel series. 4 Speed with Guy Martin where he set speed records in a variety of motor and human-powered vehicles.
He also starred in Closer to the Edge, a documentary on the Isle of Man TT, wrote four books and participated in mountain bike races.
His first foray into television presentation was in the BBC series The Boat That Guy Built in 2011.
“ We are racing motorcycles, people are going to get hurt ”
Known almost as much for his speed of speech as his speed on two wheels, Martin fondly reflects on his days of racing “ between the hurdles ” and admits that many of his current ventures represent an attempt to recapture the unique appeal of its exciting at high risk. days of racing, with its inherent dangers still present.
“Everything I’m doing now, I’m just trying to replicate the buzz I got from road racing, but nothing comes close,” Martin frankly conceded.
“We were racing motorcycles and people are going to get injured, that is part of it. You had to be precise.
“If you’re not prepared to pay that injury price or worse, you really shouldn’t. It was the attraction for me.
In a ruthless sport where an error in judgment or mechanical failure can have fatal consequences, Martin came out of major collisions at the IOM TT in 2010 and at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2015 with serious but non-fatal injuries, se breaking the back in both cases.
“At Ulster I was pushing to win. I had Bruce Anstey behind me, I had to push hard and that’s the price you pay.
“These days I want to get away from the seriousness of Superbikes and modern machinery. I’m done with the serious stuff. I don’t ride big bikes, I don’t do any of that. do classic shopping. “
Running in Ireland ‘like nothing else’
Before undertaking his various media projects, Martin combined his “day job” as a heavy vehicle mechanic with motorcycle racing, initially on short circuits, before being bitten by the racing virus on public roads closed.
In addition to competing in major international events, he enjoyed competing in smaller national road races in Ireland including the Cookstown 100, Tandragee 100, Armoy, Mid Antrim 150, Skerries and Kells.
“The very first Irish road race I did was in Kells, Republic of Ireland where two buddies and I got in a van and gave it a try. I couldn’t believe it,” a- he explained.
“The people are the friendliest and the tracks are unlike anything you’ve ever seen, the atmosphere is unlike anything else. The fans hang out over the hurdles and they’re all very knowledgeable.
“Last year was the first year I haven’t done an Irish national for as long as I can remember. He’s so successful and whatever happens I want to race on Irish roads. J love it.
“I learned so much about Irish racing legends like Ryan Farquhar, Adrian Archibald, Richard Britton and Martin Finnegan, and sometimes I beat them.
“I remember Mid Antrim in 2005 where I won the big race. I had been second behind Ryan all day, he was dominating and then I won the big race – I caught him, passed and took him out. This is one of my best memories.
“If Armoy goes ahead this year and they have a classic Open or 750 classic race, then I’ll be there – definitely.”
The Ulster Grand Prix “ the foundation ” of Irish racing
Martin first competed in the Isle of Man TT in 2004 and despite an elusive victory he racked up 17 podiums on the formidable Mountain Course and established a fastest lap average of 132.398 mph over a BMW in 2015.
He racked up 11 Ulster Grand Prix victories on the Dundrod course in the hills of County Antrim, including four in a single day aboard a Yamaha in 2006.
“The Ulster Grand Prix is my most successful race and I don’t know why. I was still there or pretty much at TT but at ‘Ulster’ everything clicked.
“I’ve always preferred it to the Northwest. The Northwest, what a spectacle it is, what an event, what an attraction, and how many people there were, but the Ulster Grand Prix wasn’t technical, you didn’t You didn’t have to do it, go through baffles like you must have done in the northwest.
“Dundrod was so much about speed, closeness to the other riders. For me, the foundation of racing in Northern Ireland was the Ulster Grand Prix.
“It was my thing. It was like the most extreme national road race. It’s crazy.”