On love and marriage
'[Mum and Dad] had a break from the relationship for a bit, and it was when they were thousands of miles apart that they realised how much they missed each other and that’s when they decided to get married. One time [sister] Sally and I were in the garage and came across the love letters Dad sent from Nigeria. They both arranged to come back to England and were married three weeks later. That was over 35 years ago and they’re still together now.'
On the meaning of life
'I kept being reminded, by [adviser] Andy, that I was in breach of two contracts I’d signed – one with Dainese and the other with the film people. I’d shrug. At times like that I just think, "Fuck it, it’ll be right." And it normally is. Someone will bail me out, and it’s better to seek forgiveness than ask for permission.'
'Christmas time was mega at our house. On Christmas Eve my dad would have a few drinks and tell us to bring the pet rabbits into the house. It was the only day out of the whole year he’d do it, but it happened every year. He’d be as pissed as handcarts from the pub at lunchtime. It’s the only time I remember seeing him drunk, but he’d be as daft as a brush, crawling around on the floor with our rabbits.'
'I wasn’t looking to get rich, but I didn’t want corners being cut when it came to bike preparation. I don’t give a monkey’s about a fancy race transporter or staying in a nice hotel; I’ll happily sleep in my van, and regularly do. I don’t expect to fly anything other than in the cheapest seat, and I’m not even bothered about being paid to ride, but the bikes have got to be right. If not, everyone is wasting their time and I’m doing a bit more than that.'
'It might be hard for people outside the world of road racing to understand, grasp or even believe, but a death can happen in a race meeting and it barely sends one ripple through my part of the paddock. It doesn’t make the slightest difference to me. Someone may mention it to me if I was stood next to them in a queue. They might be taking it to heart but I wouldn’t.'
The Phenomenal Sunday Times No1 Bestseller
‘It was the start of the third lap of the 2010 Senior TT, the last race of the fortnight. The last chance to get a TT win for another year, and I was pushing hard.
Ballagarey. The kind of corner that makes me continue road racing. A proper man’s corner. You go through the right-hander at something like 170mph, leant right over, eyes fixed as far down the road as I can see.
But this time something happened. This time the front end tucked …’
Guy Martin, international road-racing legend, maverick star of the Isle of Man TT, truck mechanic and TV presenter, lives on the edge, addicted to speed, thoroughly exhilarated by danger.
In this book we’ll get inside his head as he stares death in the face, and risks his life in search of the next high.
We’ll discover what it feels like to survive a 170mph fireball at the TT in 2010, and come back to do it all again. He’ll sweep us up in a gritty sort of glory as he slogs it out for a place on the podium, but we’ll also see him struggle with the flipside of fame.
We’ll meet his friends and foes, his family, his teammates and bosses and we’ll discover what motivates him, and where his strengths and weaknesses lie.
For the first time, here is the full story in Guy’s own words. From the boy who learned to prep bikes with his dad, to the spirited team mechanic, paying his way by collecting beer glasses in pubs, to the young racer at the start of his first race and the buzz he’s been chasing ever since.
This thrilling autobiography is an intense and dramatic ride.