Rider Martin not to compete at North West

Guy Martin with Mervyn Whyte at this year's North West 200.
Guy Martin with Mervyn Whyte at this year's North West 200.

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.

Martin has vowed to skip the Mountain showpiece next June as well as the North West 200.

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 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.

Martin was fortunate to escape with broken vertebrae following a huge crash at Ireland’s bend while leading the Dundrod 150 race at the Ulster GP in August.

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