McGuinness to Martin: ‘I would rather shove live wasps up my arse than pedal 2745 miles on a bicycle!’

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Guy Martin’s decision to not race at the Isle of Man TT in 2016 has caused much discussion among both his fans and deriders since MCN exclusively covered the announcement in this Wednesday’s paper.

We also caught up with two of Martin’s biggest rivals – John McGuinness and Ian Hutchinson – as well as Paul Phillips, boss of the TT, to get their views on his absence.

Hutchinson said he wasn’t surprised by Guy’s decision to give the TT a miss in 2016. “I kind of expected it with his TV work going so well,” Hutchy said.

“He is a great rider round the TT and very fast, but I don’t think it excited him the way it does me. I could see last year that he wasn’t that interested or hungry. When you don’t have the drive to win then it’s time to stop.”

McGuinness’s response had a little more sting. “I would rather shove live wasps up my arse than pedal 2745 miles on a bicycle!” said the 23-time TT winner.

“I just can’t get why anyone would want to do a bicycle race instead of the TT. But the TT is a dangerous old game and Guy doesn’t have to do it.

“I am not really surprised because he has been making these noises for a while now,” he added. “He must be going to get his kicks somewhere else now and getting a few quid for doing it. It is a shame because Guy’s a big name but the show will go on.”

That was a sentiment echoed by TT supremo Paul Phillips when he heard that Guy Martin would not be gracing his event this summer.

“Yes it’s a shame, but it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “I always want all of the riders to come back and Guy is undeniably popular, which has been a huge asset to the TT,” Phillips said. “But in the past we have had Mike Hailwood and Joey Dunlop and they were very popular, as is John McGuinness today, but John will retire some day and the TT will go on, and it will go on without Guy Martin.”

Neither McGuinness nor Hutchy felt that missing this year’s TT ruled out Guy’s chances of winning a TT in the future.

“Mike Hailwood came back again and won and so did Hizzy.” McGuinness said. “People have done it before and anything is possible if you want it badly enough.”

Hutchy was more circumspect. “I have obviously proved you can come back again and win, but Guy wasn’t winning before he stopped,” he said. “You don’t know what will happen, what you will come back to, but stranger things have happened.”

See McGuinness talking frank as usual alongside a whole host of BSB stars at this years MCN Carole Nash London Motorcycle Show on Feb 12-14. Advance Tickets are just £17

Stephen Davison

By Stephen Davison

Biographer of John McGuinness & road racing's foremost writer & photographer