Trackside Tuesday: Good Man

06/12/2012 @ 12:14 pm, by Daniel Lo6 COMMENTS

Trackside Tuesday: Good Man guy martin 635

The stage was set for Guy Martin to take his first ever TT win in 2012, with the popular fan favorite returning with the same team with which he scored four podium finishes in the previous year’s contest. Top-level crew, competitive machinery, and one of the fastest men to ever lap the Mountain Course teaming up again for another assault. Reaching the top step of the podium should be all but a forgone conclusion — or at least in theory.

What resulted instead was truly a week to forget, starting with Guy getting nudged off the podium in the opening Superbike race when his crew was unable to change his rear tire for the final two laps. The first Supersport race ended prematurely after his engine gave out, forcing a retirement into the pits, after just a single lap. The Superstock race that followed was barely an improvement, with Guy taking an anonymous eighth place finish, after being off the pace from the start. Further engine problems in the second Supersport race again saw him off the podium, finishing down in fifth. To cap it off, a final shot at a good result was thwarted by the first ever cancellation of the Senior TT race. Things did not go according to plan, to say the least.

The irony was not lost on me as I had traveled to this year’s Isle of Man TT with the main objective of documenting Guy’s first TT victory. The backer rewards I offered for my Kickstarter campaign included a Guy Martin postcard sent from the Isle of Man, which I had printed during my time between races. As it turned out, I was fortunate enough to end up spending a bit of unplanned time with the man himself and had the opportunity to give him one of the freshly printed postcards bearing his image.

“What did you want me to do with this?” he asked, after examining the picture and offering his approval. “Nothing, it’s for you,” I replied. He looked genuinely taken back, and froze for what must have been a full second before pulling himself together enough to say “good man,” followed by a firm handshake. I didn’t talk to him too much after that point, as there were others vying for his attention but before parting ways he walked over to me to shake my hand again.

Never too far from a bit of controversy, Guy has been criticized for various comments he has made, as well as accused of putting up a false act, with a certain supercar parked in his garage as a common citation. Regardless whether or not such criticisms are warranted, his reputation as an amiable everyday guy is definitely well-deserved in my book.

Dan Lo is a motorsport photographer who covers AMA Superbike, World Superbike, and MotoGP. His online portfolio is at CornerSpeedPhoto.com and he can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. For this year, Dan is looking to expand his coverage to the Isle of Man TT via Kickstarter. A big ‘”thank you” to everyone who donated, and helped send Dan to this year’s TT.

Photo: © 2012 Daniel Lo / Corner Speed Photo – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. luke says:

    I want him to win one so bad. Just so he can say it was all worth it.

  2. Gutterslob says:

    I like Guy, even before all that BBC boat show and TT3D, from his first year riding a Hydrex Honda. I wasn’t as close to him as you were, obviously, but something about him didn’t seem right this time around. Not sure whether he was distracted, or whether there were other issues. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the fame getting to his head, but maybe he just couldn’t deal with all the attention.

    He had a bad week, no doubt. His dad (very important presence for him) couldn’t be there for the first 4 races, and when he finally arrived, they cancelled the Senior TT.

    Then there were tyre issues; Pirelli just aren’t as competitive as they used to be with the majority of the top 20 riders running Dunlops over the last few years, Dunlop just have that much more data to work with each time.

    There was also that crash at teh Northwest 200 2 weeks prior that very nearly killed him. He does put on a “hard as nails” persona, but I’m sure it was in the back of his mind somewhere.

    Still, I thought he’d turn it on for the Senior like he always does (along with Cam Donald). Sad that it got rained out.

    I’m still not convinced that a setup like TAS is the right one for Guy. It’s all too structured and factory-like, from what I’ve seen in past events. Guy was at his best when operating as David going up against Golliath, like with Hydrex and Wilson Craig. Sure, he bickers a lot, but all blokes from Lancashire do that, though none I’ve met talk as fast as Guy.

    Best of luck to him and all the other riders for the next TT.

  3. Skeptical says:

    All the story built up around Guy is like “an ordinary -and somewhat awkwardly sympathetic- bloke to succeed in the toughest road race in IOM”. It’s a chase. If he does get a win though, it would have become a moment instead of a state; ” he finally won! it was all worth to it”. But then gone. It’s over. Maybe, just maybe, he and we would not be chasing his wins to add up a little less eagerly. So what it turns up a postponing game. It’s like postponing the orgasm; later the better.

    He is a great persona and a very likeable fella. But I guess he got trapped the very story that defines him. Enjoy watching him anyways.

    BTW; you’ve greatly improved the content of this site Jensen. Great work, dude.

  4. Andrew says:

    He’s from Lincolnshire

  5. frogy6 says:

    He was never going to win, after the superbike his tire was inspected and was still fine.
    He hasn’t got the concentration needed for a tt win. His pace either falls off or he pushes through it and crashes big. Talked up and talked up. Just wait for a repeat next year

  6. Westward says:

    Guy Martin is to the IOM, what Noriyuki Haga was to WSBK, and Pedrosa is to MGP (or more accurately Edwards)…

    There is always that one “Guy” in every series, and Martin is it for the Isle of Man…