Isle of Man TT favourite Guy Martin believes he will be in the mix for race wins when the first International road race meeting of the year burst into action on Saturday.
He was confident after Tuesday night’s first practice session at the North West 200, where he tried out the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport machinery from Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing.
Saturday’s races are Martin’s last chance to get himself ready for the 2011 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy, which starts on May 30. His chief aim this year is to finally secure that elusive first TT win, and the North West should give an indication of his performance level ahead of racing on the legendary Mountain course.
On Tuesday night’s opening practice Martin finished sixth in the qualifying sessions for both the Superbike (4mins 40.269sec/115.214mph) and Supersport (4mins 52.824mph/110.278mph).
The Lincolnshire man took 9th in the Superstock class (4mins 39.036sec/115.727mph) and was looking forward to today’s session.
Speaking on Wednesday, Martin said:
“The Superbike is mega, we’re right there with that one and the Supersport bike is yeah... that’s spot on too. Little problem last night, but nothing to worry about.”
“On the Superstock bike we’ve a little bit of work to do and struggled a little last night with gearing, but all day practice tomorrow and we shout be good.”
“I’m looking forward to a good run in the dry and we’ll be right there hopefully for Saturday.”
Team Manager Philip Neill added:
“It’s been a good start for us. This is obviously a tough week in general, as many different aspects can determine how you qualify.”
“We are in quite a unique scenario with two riders on three different bikes, and bike set-up can be turned on its head in five minutes with a change in the weather. Our dry set up is very good after the opening session and apart from a few teething troubles we are ready for Saturday, although as I say, a drop of rain could offer up a whole new challenge for everyone.”