For the second year in a row, Triumph has been forced to suspend its effort for a new land speed record after its pilot, Guy Martin, was injured during the Ulster GP Superbike race on Thursday, August 6. Triumph was to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats speed trials on August 24-27, but Martin’s accident and subsequent operation mean that he will not be fit in time for vital tests before the official event.
Guy Martin is one tough rider. On Thursday he highsided his Tyco BMW S1000RR at the Ireland’s corner during the Dundrod 150 Superbike race of the Ulster GP in Northern Ireland. He was catapulted to the adjacent field, narrowly missed a tree and ended up with fractured vertebrae, ribs and sternum, as well as a badly damaged right hand. He went under the knife the very next day and four days later, on Tuesday, August 11, he checked himself out of the hospital.
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"I'm on the mend – few upgrades to me hand and back but feel right enough. All part of the job. Thanks very much for the support as always," Martin stated in his Twitter feed.
By "upgrades" he means steel rods in his back to stabilize the injury to his thoracic spine and a pin in his hand.
Unfortunately, this turn of events forced Triumph to postpone the planned attempt until 2016.
“We’re obviously concerned with the news that Guy has sustained injuries as a result of his crash in last week’s Dundrod 150 race," Triumph said in an official statement. "While in true form, Guy has signed himself out of hospital this week, we all feel that given his injuries it won’t be possible to complete the required testing prior to attempting to take the record this year.
“Guy is a unique talent and having such a pilot for our Rocket motorcycle is absolutely central to our attempt. We wish him a full and speedy recovery and will confirm a new date for our 2016 bid as soon as we can."
Triumph Motorcycles is poised to return the motorcycle land speed record back to England and has been preparing for this since 2013. Last year a technical problem in final testing forced the team to withdraw at the last minute. This year the whole event is in doubt, as the poor surface conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats led to the cancelation of the Speed Week that was scheduled for August 8-14. Despite the Salt Flats running out of, surprisingly enough, salt, the Motorcycle Speed Trials are still a go, alas not for Triumph anymore.
Hopefully, third time’s the charm and everything will go as planned next year.