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Michael Dunlop’s Road Racer: ‘Guy Martin can’t have a piss in peace’

In the second of three extracts from his book Road Racer: It's In My Blood, Michael Dunlop talks about what it must be like being Guy Martin

"He's a funny lad is Guy. He started getting a wee bit of TV fame in 2009. Some cameras followed him around the TT and he'd been a natural on the screen, fair play to him. He'd go on to become a household name for his programmes about boats and speed and stuff.

“But here's the thing, you mention the TT to non-racing fans and they think of Guy Martin. He's become the face of it because he's the one on TV all of the time and people know of his association with the bikes. But how many TT trophies has he won?


“Lots of people have one or two and you never hear of them. Big hitters like Mike Hailwood, with fourteen, or the boys with eight, nine or ten - you'd know their names. But lower down, there are people you never hear of who have won four or five TT races - which is a real achievement, believe you me - yet you do hear of Guy Martin who's won precisely none.

“For someone who's not a particularly successful TT racer - who is good without being great - he seems to have done very well as a TT racer, if you know what I mean. His fame from elsewhere means people assume he's had more success than he's actually had.

“Don't get me wrong, he's a decent racer. He's beaten me enough times and he's paid his dues. There have been enough bones broken in that body to settle that score. And before he became Mr Speed you could have a really good conversation with Guy, one to one, no bother.

“He's into his cars, his engines, that sort of thing - basically the sort of crap I like to talk about. V8s and V12s, we chew the fat on all that and the hours fly by. I have a real good time with him. We're a couple of men, we're equals, we've both been through the wringer.

“But as soon as there's a sniff of an audience he changes. That's why he's a natural for the screen, I suppose. He starts pulling facts and stories out of his arse and playing to the gallery. Every person listening magnifies his bravado to the power of fifteen. He's a nightmare for that at press conferences. Guy's made a few bob though. I'll give him that. So I guess it works,

“The downside to the money is the fame. Sometimes you look at Guy and think: ‘That man is tortured.’ He can't even have a piss in peace. People think they know him and want a piece of him. In 2009 I already knew a bit about that myself."

Road Racer - It’s In My Blood by Michael Dunlop is published by Michael O’Mara Books, £20 hardback.

Click here to buy

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