Guy Martin has confirmed that he will sit out this year’s Isle of Man TT races to compete in a gruelling mountain bike race.
The Tyco BMW rider, who has yet to win around the legendary Mountain Course, will also miss the North West 200 as he prepares for the Tour Divide event, considered the world’s toughest mountain bike challenge.
Martin will also be absent from the TAS Racing team’s home Irish road race at the Cookstown 100, where has been a regular competitor in recent seasons.
He also stopped short of committing to any motorcycle road racing meetings in 2016.
“I’m not done with motorbikes and if I race on the roads again this year it will be with the TAS team. The BMW bikes are mega and the team are spot on,” said the Lincolnshire rider, who raised doubts that he would ever compete at the North West 200 again after criticising the event last year when he labelled the 8.9-mile course ‘boring’.
Yorkshireman Ian Hutchinson, who has won 11 Isle of Man TT races, will lead the charge on the Tyco BMW machines at the North West, TT and Ulster Grand Prix this season, joining the Northern Ireland team on the back of a magnificent year in 2015, when the Bingley Bullet clinched a treble at the TT – five years on from the crash that almost ended his career.
A statement from the Tyco BMW team said there are no active plans to seek a replacement rider for Martin.
The team is currently preparing an intensive pre-season testing programme for the British Superbike and Superstock team of Michael Laverty, Christian Iddon and reigning Superstock 1000 champion Josh Elliott.
Hutchinson will also join the team for testing in Spain in March ahead of the official BSB tests.