Guy Martin smashes Billown classic lap record

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Guy Martin, decked out in his old Hydrex Honda leathers, riding John Sims’ Heron Suzuki GS1000R XR69 replica, smashed his own 4.25 mile Billown lap record during the Post Classic Superbike race at the Blackford’s TT Classic Road Races.

Martin was an astounding 8.65s seconds faster than his own record set in 2008 but that was his only consolation of the meeting after he had to surrender a massive lead when  the Suzuki started jumping out of gear.

Martin said: “We talked about putting a close ratio gearbox in but stuck with the original and it started jumping out of gear so I had to pull off in the end. It’s a shame because I’d loved to have cracked the 100mph barrier.”

Martin’s TT backer Wilson Craig didn’t apparently even know his star rider was taking time out to do the classic meeting, when he had TT practice later that evening.

“No Wilson, probably didn’t know,” admitted Martin, “but he does now and he’s fine about it. Besides, we’re not doing any harm here are we? It’s just a bit of fun. It’s just disappointing we didn’t make it to the finish.”

With Martin parked up, Mike Hose inherited the lead on an RGB Triumph twin but he went out a lap later at Ballabeg and Roy Richardson, resplendent in bright orange leathers in homage to his hometown Blackpool Football Club who have just gained promotion to the Premiership, took the win riding a late-model, reverse-cylinder Yamaha TZ250.

Richardson used the top speed of his TZ to pass Alan Oversby’s Craven Manx Norton single  in the closing stages on the long fast straights.

Oversby though had won the earlier Classic 500 race, this Senior race witnessing the magnificent sight and sound of the MV 500-3 in a start-finish to victory from Watty Brown and Mike Hose.

Hose however won the nine lap Junior (350cc) race – his ninth Pre TT Classic race win. Oversby who took the initial lead until he was forced to pull in at Cross Four Ways on the fourth lap with a smoking engine.

At the chequered flag, it was Hose on a Honda twin, 16s ahead of Chris Palmer’s AJS 7R.

Palmer, though, won the 350 Single-cylinder race on the AJS from Ducati-mounted Rich Hawkins with Hose third on Bultaco TSS two-stroke.

Hose also featured in the Lightweight race, finishing second on a 250cc Ariel Arrow two-stroke to the Suzuki twin of Ewan Hamilton.

Only two outfits finished the Sidecar race out of the seven starters. Vincent and Phil Biggs won the race on their 1000cc Busch BMW by 45s from Ralf Engelhardt and Winfried Viecenz on another BMW.

The next meeting on the Billown course is The Manx Telecom Post TT Road Races on Saturday 12, the day after this year’s Senior TT on the Mountain course

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin