Road-racer Martin wins Southern 100

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IOL mot pic jul18 Guy Martin Riding at average speeds of more than 180kmh with stone walls on both sides of the road, Guy Martin, 4, Suzuki GSX-R1000, leads Dean Harrison, 2, Kawasaki ZX-10R, in the Open Class race at the Southern 100 in Billown, Ireland.

There are only a handful of places in the world where it is legal to close a public road and organise a motorcycle race. The best known, of course, is the 60km Isle of Man Tourist Trophy circuit, followed by the Macau Grand Prix - which takes place on city streets not unlike those of Monaco - one in Estonia, and a few in Ireland, notably the 6.8km Billown circuit, home of the annual Southern 100 race meeting.

Road racing is, unsurprisingly, way more dangerous than racing on closed circuits and the riders are among the bravest - and craziest! - in the world. Among the most eccentric is Lincolnshire diesel mechanic Guy Martin, who once spent 10 minutes explaining - on camera, at almost molecular level - how to make a perfect mug of tea.

And yes, he always has a cuppa waiting for him in the post-race paddock.

Drinking habits aside, the superbly talented Mr Martin crowned a successful 2013 Southern 100 outing with a hard-fought win in the feature Solo Championship event after a race-long battle with local hero and form man Michael Dunlop.

Martin, ridng a Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbike, also set a new absolute lap record for the circuit, completing the fifth of eight laps at an average speed of 182.792km/h.

Young road racer Dean Harrison (24) took his first double, winning Wednesday's Supersport race on a Yamaha R6 and Thursday's 'Lightweight' event (roughly the equivalent of the South African Powersport class) on a Kawasaki ER-6 twin.

Unlike the TT, where the riders start two by two at 10 second intervals, the Southern 100 has a traditional mass start, which makes the racing very close but even more dangerous. Sadly, local riders Mark Madsen-Mygdal and David Jukes lost their lives at the 2013 Southern 100.

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