Guy Martin has confirmed he will not be competing at the 2016 Isle of Man TT as he sets his sights on the ultra-endurance mountain bike race the Tour Divide.

In a statement from Tyco BMW, Martin will not race on the roads ahead of his attempt of the Tour Divide and the team will not be actively searching for a replacement for the Lincolnshire rider for the Isle of Man TT or the North West 200. Tyco BMW will solely be represented by 11-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson.

Martin hasn't ruled out taking part in other road racing events in 2016 with Tyco BMW and is expected to confirm his full year schedule in the coming weeks.

"I'm not done with motorbikes and if I race on the roads again this year it will be with the TAS team," Martin said. "The BMW bikes are mega and the team are spot on."

The truck mechanic turned TV star has said via his Facebook page he is hunting a fresh challenge and was kicked into action after he broke his back at the Ulster Grand Prix last year.

"I fancy a change of scenery," he explained. "I've been racing the TT for 11 years. All I've really done since I was 18, except the trucks, is race motorbikes and my brain needs something else. Every year's the same: testing, racing, then start again.

"It brought it home to me when I was lying in hospital after the Ulster Grand Prix crash. I've been on about the Tour Divide, the toughest pushbike race in the world, for three years and I thought I'll blink and next thing I'll be 45, so I'm going to do it this year. I like breaking myself mentally and the Tour Divide will be tough, but it's same time at TT, so that's forced me to make a choice.

"I'm not done with motorbikes. I'm attempting the Wall of Death record in the spring and having a go at the land speed record in the summer and if I do race on the roads it will be with TAS."

Martin also says his decision to skip this year's Isle of Man TT is only an indefinite leave of absence and takes comfort from 43-year-old John McGuinness and 46-year-old Bruce Anstey still fighting at the front on the roads.

"After the Tour Divide I might never want to see a pushbike again - or never want to go road racing again, I don't know," the 34-year-old said. "But I do know Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness are still racing the TT, and they've got a few years on me, so maybe I'll come back next year.

"Or maybe I'll find something else interesting to do. I've got more interests than just motorbikes and I just think let's bloody have them. Thanks very much as ever for the support."



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