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Guy Martin: "A cup of tea and then 300 mph, a challenge worth dying for"

The daredevil racer is trying to beat the 300mph barrier on an 830hp Suzuki Hayabusa: "when I’ve been 260mph or 280mph, I can’t sleep for two days. I’m wired.”

News: Guy Martin: "A cup of tea and then 300 mph, a challenge worth dying for"


Three hundred miles per hour, or if you prefer 482.803 kilometres per hour, is the speed Guy Martin wants to reach… on two wheels of course. Three years ago he bought a Suzuki Hayabusa from a friend that was not in perfect condition, but it was cheap (less than 6,000 euros) and already fast in the standard version.

But now that bike is practically unrecognizable, among the numerous modifications the engine has been supercharged and now reaches 830 hp, a special fairing has been studied and it has already reached 282 mph (almost 454 km/h) from a standing start. It is not enough however, there are 18 mph still to go and Guy has no desire to abandon the challenge, indeed he is not afraid of risking everything to do it…

“I’ve come to the conclusion that when you are doing something like this, if you’re not willing to die for it, you don’t actually want to be doing it,” declared Guy, a man who’s never been known for doing things by half, in an interview published by his sponsor Morris Lubricants.

In his road racing career he has picked up an endless list of injuries so he is one man who knows what he is talking about…

“When I first started racing I loved it that much I’d have died for it – he continued - After four or five years, I was doing it because I was competitive, but it wasn’t worth dying for anymore. Even though the TT is very extreme, it was still the same circuit and the same routine every year.”

So Martin started to think about his next challenge and he decided to tackle the legendary figure of 300 miles per hour. It’s not as if that to succeed in the undertaking, he won’t have to take risks, because at almost 500 km/h anything can happen. At the moment though, Guy is mostly focused on finding those 18 mph he is still missing. He is waiting for a new wheel from America, working on numerous components.

“I’ve been doing stupid things for a long time and I’m still here because I know when the situation is right to push – touch wood,” he said. “I feel quite happy to say no, I’m not ready, I won’t get on the bike. The only pressure I feel is when I’m at the start of a run, that couple of seconds before I set off, and that’s because I don’t know what’s going to happen. There will be a load of prototype things on the bike that I’m trying out that I don’t know how they’re going to do. No one knows, because no one has ever done it.”

The sensation of speed, however, repays him for all his efforts…

“I can’t really put into words what it’s like. The only way I can explain it is I can’t sleep for two days when I’ve been fast on that bike – he confessed - 250mph is all right, but when I’ve been like 260mph or 280mph, I can’t sleep for two days. For two days, I’m wired.”

Everything is played out in a matter of seconds and over a distance of one mile…

“It’s only 16 seconds, the whole thing is only 16 seconds. It is just gritting your teeth and trying to manhandle this monster down a mile track. It’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It’s just madness, it’s a wrestling match in every area, physically, mentally, everything.”

When he is ready Martin will attempt the assault on the record and he will have his father alongside him…

“We’ve got a routine, we know what we are doing. He loves it, he loves my passion for it. We’ll jump in the van, we’ll drive down the runway, get everything in place, have a cup of tea, I’ll get me wind vane out, have a look, say ‘yeah the weather is all right’, and we’ll have a go. Just me, me dad, the computer, the bike and the data. That’s it.”

And those 300 miles per hour to beat…


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