Who better to break the two-wheeled world land speed record than plucky northerner, Guy Martin? The motorbike racer, truck mechanic and TV presenter escaped uninjured this weekend when his Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner lost control after hitting a patch of damp salt during a 300mph test-run.
Martin has a history of bad luck. He was meant to attempt to break the 376mph world record last year but, in a perhaps unsurprising move, had to bail when he lost control of his BMW motorbike during a race and was catapulted through the air, fracturing vertebrae, his sternum and a number of ribs.
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He was taking part in a test run when the latest incident took place. Regulations state that he must ride the motorcycle at 300mph before being allowed to take on the full land speed record – so the incident will have set the record run back yet again.
In typical Guy Martin fashion, the experience racer commented: “It’s all part the job, boy, isn’t it? Feeling our way. I guess if it was an easy thing to do everyone would have done it by now. So we’ll get a plan sorted and get on with the next go at it as soon as we get the chance.”
Apparently taking it “steady” following his crash last year, Martin successfully reached 198mph during an earlier run.
The crash wasn’t the only hiccup, however. While being towed to the start line, the bike toppled over, causing minor damage. This delayed Martin’s final attempt, which led to him losing control.
Bit slushy at Bonneville..she tipped over being towed out..only a scratch boy. We’re on it today. pic.twitter.com/PBa4B6b4vL
— Guy Martin Racing (@guymartinracing) September 17, 2016
Triumph Motorcycles, who built the bike, put the later incident down to the ‘unpredictable’ surface.
The Infor Rocket Streamliner’s designer, Matt Markstaller, said: “It’s one of the challenges of land speed racing – the salt surface can be so unpredictable. We’ll fully inspect the streamliner and get ready for the next phase of our attempt.”
It might not be that simple. Bad weather as winter arrives could mean that the world record attempt has to be postponed by yet another year.