Cast your mind all the way back to 2002. Foot & Mouth, dead Queen Mother and a man called Rossi (above) taking the first 990cc MotoGP crown on the Honda RC211V.
Meanwhile, a little-known 22 year old by the name of Guy Martin was cutting his teeth racing in the British Junior Superstock Class on a Suzuki GSX-R600. The field was playfully know as "The Junior Suicide Class" because the racing was so close and most of the riders were young, dumb and full of cum. Needless to say it was regularly a crash fest and the stewards had their work cut out keeping the young guns (including current MotoGP star Cal Crutchlow) in line. Victories here could pave the way for high-profile rides later on - so it was all to play for.
Cut to the 8th round of the championship at Rockingham Circuit in Northampton. As usual the Junior Suicide Class was living up to its name and riders were regularly cutting through the chicane at the start of the lap, usually by accident after leaving their braking a tad too late. This was happening too often during the race weekend and the clerk of the course, and current British Superbike Championship head-honcho Stuart Higgs was having none of it. Every rider was warned that if they were caught cutting the chicane, they'd face a penalty.
As Guy Martin explains in his own words from his first book-
"I finished the race in second behind Cal Crutchlow. I was well chuffed. I went up on the podium, collected my trophy and was back at the van packing up with my dad when one of the marshals came up and told me I was going to be given a ten-second penalty for running through the chicane"
Guy was confident the incident didn't give him an advantage in his final position and had the opportunity to lodge an appeal with race control at the cost of £100. The officials stood by their decision and Guy wasn't too happy...
Guy was banned from competing in any ACU events for the remainder of 2002, leaving him no option but to race abroad. He decided to move to Ireland and compete in the road racing championships that are so popular over there, including the Isle Of Man TT.
The rest, as they say, is history.
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