On The Record: Guy Martin

Celebrated truck mechanic has contested 11 Isle of Man TTs, scoring 15 podiums. What’s next?

Guy Martin - photo by Scott Jones,PHOTO.GP

I have been riding dirt track for the past two years, and I'm enjoying it a lot. It's completely different from roadracing. You steer by opening the throttle and shifting your weight, and you're always drifting slightly sideways. It's a new challenge. That's why I like it.

Racing with Troy Bayliss, Brad Baker, Jared Mees, Marc Marquez, and all these guys at the Superprestigio in Barcelona is fun. This is my hobby. I like the adrenaline, but, above all, I love motorcycles. Not only competing but also building motorcycles.

I built the Martek Suzuki 1100 Turbo, with which I competed this year at Pikes Peak, winning my category. Now I'm working on a Rob North Triumph to do the "Wall of Death" in the UK, a motordrome where you ride vertical walls.

The most scary things I have done in my life are Pikes Peak—that was particularly challenging for the bike that I built, due to the elevation—and the Isle of Man TT, because I had several serious incidents. I will repeat Pikes Peak, and I'm already thinking about a special bike for it.

Regarding the TT, I think 2015 could be my last year because I'm not enjoying it anymore. There are too many people, and it has become difficult to even get out of my van. Because racing is a hobby, if I'm not enjoying it, there is no reason to do it.

Guy Martin portrait shot

Bikes are not a lifestyle for me; work comes first. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you," we say in England. I'm a lorry mechanic. This is my job, and I'm lucky, because I love my job. I have been doing it since I was 12. I used to work on the local Scania garage on Friday after school, spending the weekend and the school holidays there. I wake up every day at 5:00 a.m., and then I cycle to and from work daily.

I live in Lincolnshire, England, in a small village with 200 inhabitants. I don't have TV or Internet at home. When I want to see a friend, I call him; I don't tweet or go on Facebook. I have no wife or kids, but a dog, a four-month-old Labrador called Nigel (after Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell).

I'm not cool. When I look at the MotoGP guys wearing sunglasses or listening to the music on the grid, well, I have nothing against it, but it's not me. For me, it's just, "Let's go ride!" I like to have a cup of tea between heats of dirt track or during a break at the Isle of Man TT but definitely not music.

I listen to music when I am at home, or when I'm traveling with my transit van. I came to Barcelona for the Superprestigio with my van, the bike in the back, and a good friend of mine, Tim, sitting next to me. On Saturday, as soon as the race finishes, we will be back on the road. We have already booked the Eurotunnel; the plan is to arrive in England by Sunday evening. On Monday, I will be at work.

I love technology. There is a lot of technology in a lorry. I'm keen of Formula 1 because of the technology and I think that, in this respect, motorbikes are still far behind. But they will catch. I am building and tuning race engines in my spare time. One day I will build a complete bike, all made in Lincolnshire.

For me, a Britten is the bike—a unique motorcycle. So far, 10 V1000s have been produced. One is in Italy, one is in Holland and five are in the US. One day, I will have one. The colors of my helmet—pink and a blue—are a tribute to the Britten.

My next challenges? I have just returned from India. I was there for work, but I'm also studying the possibility to ride by motorcycle from the ocean in Goa, in the deep south of India, to the Everest camp base in the Himalayas in Nepal.

If it's not a challenge to life, leg, and sanity, then I'm just not interested.