Guy Martin, one of the most-loved roadracers at the Isle of Man TT in the past couple of decades, is embarking on a new adventure. Martin is working on a project to restore the Thoresway motocross track, turning it into the best MX course in the UK.

See him detailing his plans below, if you can decipher his thick Northerner’s accent!

This time, the ex-racer has some help on this project. His Facebook page says  “Alfie Smith from ASTrax and Johnny Douglas Hamilton from Terraforma Mx were brought in to design and build something special! JCB were excited to be a part of the story too and provided some of the machines for the build so big thanks to them.”

Who’s Guy Martin?

If you’ve been reading motorcycle magazines for a few years, chances are you’ve seen something written about Guy Martin. The working-class roadracer from northern England never won a race at the Isle of Man TT, but he earned podiums there and won the Southern 100 twice, as well as Cock O’ The North and other street circuit events in the UK.

He ended most of his racing efforts in 2017. Along with his street circuit heroics, Martin has also raced pedal cars and bicycles, and holds four Guinness speed records (fastest tractor, fastest gravity-powered snow sled, fastest soapbox car and fastest speed on a Wall of Death). He also holds the UK’s record for fastest hovercraft.

Many readers will be familiar with Martin because of his television work. Along with appearances in films about the IOMTT, Martin has worked as a TV presenter many times, often in series or one-off episodes focusing on mechanical history, industrial production, or World War II airplanes. He was also tapped as one of the replacements for the Jeremy Clarkson/Richard Hammond/James May team on Top Gear, but turned that opportunity down.

Why Thoresway?

Why would Guy Martin, best-known for asphalt adventures, buy an MX track to restore it? Because Thoresway, often referred to as Caistor, has long had a rep as a great MX track, but it’s fallen on hard times. In past years, Honda used the track for factory rider testing, and it was a well-designed layout, but Internet scuttlebutt says it’s not what it used to be.

So, Martin’s bought it (it’s close to his home base in Lincolnshire), and now he is working on a plan to rebuild and restore the track, and then bring in top MX events.

It’s a great plan for an ex-racer to give back, and no doubt Martin will be happy to put the track to test himself, and play with the heavy machinery used for the process (outside racing, Martin’s real-world job has always been diesel mechanicking). Hopefully the rest of this series is enjoyable, hopefully the track is enjoyable, and hopefully this all inspires other people to Make Grassroots Racing Great Again. However, note that Thoresway will not be a practice track—it’s intended for high-level action. Again, as per Facebook:

Fundamentally we would love to have our own event or to host a round of the MX Nationals and/or the British Championship in the coming years.
Thoresway won’t be open to the general public to practice on, we know a lot of people will be disappointed but there are many reasons why this decision was made. We may decide to run a one off practice day during the year. Watch this space. We will however in time be open to professional teams currently riding at championship level for race practice.

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