Steve Martin Puts In The Miles August 10, 2007
Hot off the heels of returning from the Suzuka 8 Hour World Endurance race, Steve Martin was back in a World Superbike seat last week in the Brands Hatch heat before heading to Germany today to compete in the Oschersleben round of the World Endurance Championship this coming weekend.
Steve commented, “It’s been a pretty busy month what with commentating, testing and racing all back to back, but I’ve really enjoyed being back racing and also the variety of races I’ve been competing in and bikes I’ve been riding on.”
At Suzuka, Steve and team mates Igor Jerman and fellow Australian Damian Cudlin were heading for a top ten finish, before a mechanical issue with a broken heat exchange lost them ten laps, putting them back to 65th position. A hard fight saw the trio pull their way back up to 33rd at the chequered flag, which was a creditable effort, also given that they were running on Pirellis in a race where Bridgestone and Michelin have superior experience.
“Having not ridden in a race situation for a couple of months, the Suzuka 8 Hour was a great way for me to get ‘bike fit’ in preparation for Brands Hatch and I enjoyed racing with the team too,” Steve continued.
Having tested for both Yamaha France and Virgin Yamaha during the last few months, both teams asked Steve if he would race at the famous Brands Hatch round of the World Superbike Championship, in order to provide them with feedback for development of the Yamaha machines in race conditions and also compare the two bikes for the benefit of both teams.
Steve commented, “Riding the two Yamaha R1s at Brands was a good opportunity and both teams were very happy with what they came away with from the weekend. For Michele Garcia and Rob Mac, both top guys, to get together is not heard of usually and also posed logistical challenges what with the wheels of the two machines not being interchangable as well as having two bike crews from different teams coming together to make one team for a weekend. But it was really great that they wanted to create this situation with me and also that they were able to pool resources to create something that worked well for everyone.”
Whilst there has been much rumour that Steve was confirmed to compete in the final four rounds of the British Superbike Championship with Virgin Yamaha, Steve and Rob both decided that the timing wasn’t right for the two to team up at this point, but have not ruled out working together in the future.
Instead of competing in BSB at Croft this weekend, Steve will be back with the Yamaha Austria team at the Oschersleben round of the World Endurance Championship.
Steve concluded, “I really enjo?ed working with the two teams during the weekend and I would like to thank MG Competition and Virgin Yamaha for the opportunity to be on the WSBK grid at Brands.Â As for heading to British Superbikes – it is a strong championship and if I went thereÂ I would want to be at the front. Although I feel that that could be possible with theÂ Virgin Yamaha, I would ideally want more testing and track time on the British circuits before having to put it on the line.
“I’ve still got opportunities to race at selected rounds of different championships thisÂ year, as well as further testing and commentary roles, so I’m looking forward to the variety of the rest of theÂ season.”