Isle of Man TT star Guy Martin’s victory in the final race of the Ulster Grand Prix was ‘justice’ and showed the racer’s ‘guts and determination’, according to team boss Philip Neill.
Martin had a strong outing at Dundrod with his Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing team and was in cotention for victory in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race and both Grand Prix Superbike races.
However, the Dundrod 150 showdown was abandoned due to bad weather while Martin was some 5 seconds in front and in the UGP Feature Race the Kirmington ace crossed the line first only to be demoted to second when Bruce Anstey, who had started in the second wave, moved ahead on corrected time.
TAS team manager Philip Neill hit out at the way that race was run, saying the rules were ‘bizarre’ and had no place in an International Road Race.
In the day’s final race Martin made up for that disappointment, leading all six laps on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 and taking full advantage of a good tyre choice for the inclement weather conditions to finish 3 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
He added that victory to 2nd place in the Superstock race, where he had enjoyed a nip-and-tuck battle with eventual winner Michael Dunlop, and 4th and 5th place finishes in the Supersport events on the all-new Suzuki GSX-R600.
Martin was delighted with his day’s racing and full of praise for the team.
“The bike was that good any one of the boys could have won on it.”
“I’m a happy camper now I’ve got that win. After the first Superbike race where I was just concentrating on trying to win on the road, I knew what I had to do in the last race and watch my board.”
“It’s not ideal to take the chequered flag and lose; by ’eck it’s bizarre if I’m honest, but those are the rules. I just couldn’t shake Keith (Amor) off in the first race and it let Bruce gain time as he had clear track from the front of the second group.”
“The other races were good enough… we weren’t far off in the Superstock race either.”
“No one remembers a loser, but everyone remembers the last winner of the year at the internationals, so a good job all round from the team. Proper order… I’m well happy.”
Mr Neill added:
“I have to admit I’m relieved that’s over. After a successful qualifying and having had Thursday’s Superbike race virtually in the bag before the red flag; then losing out in the first Superbike race on corrected time was a bit hard to take on board.”
“Yes we were licking our wounds and feeling a tad hard done by, but that’s no disrespect to Bruce or the Padgetts’ team. They just made the best of the bizarre rules that we normally see at national road races but really shouldn’t come into play at an international event.”
“For Guy to then produce such a thrilling and dominant display in the final Superbike race is testament to his guts and determination and the victory was justice in our eyes.”
“Both he and Michael Dunlop were also in a class of their own in the Superstock race, and although Guy was visibly faster through the corners, Michael had a bit of an advantage on the straights – but what a race.”
“It was a difficult day with the weather but the organisers did a good job and I’m sure it will make great viewing on TV.”