It's been confirmed that Lincolnshire rider Guy Martin won't be in action at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man next week.

The Billown event is one of Martin's favourite race meetings, yet the Tyco BMW rider won't return this year to defend his Solo Championship title.

Martin equalled Ulster road racing legend Joey Dunlop's feat of winning the feature race at the event three times in a row last July.

The 34-year-old hasn't competed at a road race meeting since a big crash in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race last August, which left him with a series of injuries.

He skipped the Isle of Man TT to compete in the Tour Divide mountain bike race in North America and missed the North West 200, which came as little surprise after Martin was heavily critical of the 'boring' nature of the course in a live-on-air radio rant in 2015.

However, the organisers of the Ulster Grand Prix are hopeful Martin will be on the grid at the last of the 'big three' international road races, which takes place from August 10-13.

The Armoy Irish National meeting would offer Martin the chance to blow off the cobwebs at the end of July should he decide to race at the Dundrod showpiece. Martin has been a regular at the Armoy meeting since it was first held in 2009.

Speaking at the official launch of the Ulster Grand Prix earlier this week, Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the Ulster Grand Prix, said: "We're hoping that Guy will be back at the Ulster once again this August, and while he might be short on track time this season you could never bet against him at Dundrod, as he's enjoyed so many great races here before."

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