It’s not a great year for Honda Racing in international road racing. The trouble began when the team’s star rider John McGuinness crashed during qualifying for the North West 200. The “Morecambe Missile” broke his leg, vertebrae and some ribs.This forced the 23-time Isle of Man TT winner—only three behind the record set by the late Joey Dunlop—to miss this year’s TT.
This also forced Honda to only field one superbike at the 2017 Isle of Man TT. At the controls of the sole CBR1000RR SP2 for the literbike classes is TT favorite Guy Martin, who returned to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course after a year hiatus.But during the opening race of 2017 IOM TT—the RST Superbike TT—Martin suffered a nasty crash on the first of six laps due to a false neutral at Doran’s Bend just before the first sector of Glen Helen.Guy Martin, a 15-time TT podium finisher, walked away with only injuries to his left wrist, but was shaken up and missed that day’s TT Zero practice.Martin was troubled by the SP2’s technical issues, as he reported that he hit a “box of neutrals” that caused him to berm the curb and take a tumble. Check out the video above for accident and interview footage of Guy Martin’s RST Superbike crash at 2017 Isle of Man TT.Work is underway on the SP2 as the team preps for Friday’s six-lap Senior TTJonny Twelvetrees, Honda Racing Team Manager, says: “Well (Sunday) was not our day! We were looking forward to the Superbike race, but unfortunately we didn’t make it to the first sector. Guy has told us he hit a false neutral at Doran’s, which caused him to run up the curb and then come down.“He’s hurt his wrist a little, but he’s fine and nothing serious, it’s just bruised. He’s understandably shaken as it’s a very fast corner, but the main thing is that he’s OK! He decided to sit out of the TT Zero practice this evening just to rest his wrist and get some ice on it. It’s a shame that we didn’t get the six laps, as we need the track time and the data but, he’ll get nine laps in before the Senior on Friday, which with the lack of track time to date, is very welcomed. He’s got two Supersport races, the TT Zero and a one-lap Senior practice – so they will all be crucial.“He’s upping his pace in each session and making solid progress, so we now have to wait for the final race, the Senior TT, which we are all looking forward to.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.