British Superbikes: Steve Martin to complete test for Virgin Yamaha

Published: 06 July 2007

World Superbike man Steve Martin is set to complete a one day test onboard the British Superbikes Virgin Yamaha R1 at Donington Park next Tuesday. 

The former Foggy Petronas rider has a wealth of experience on Pirelli tyres having ridden on them the majority of his Superbike career. Although at this stage there has been no discussion about Steve Martin joining the team full time, the Australian is currently without a regular ride and is keen to race in British Superbikes with a top team

Thirty-eight year old Steve Martin has little experience of the remaining British Superbikes tracks but would bring a wealth of knowledge to the team that might be seen by team boss Rob McElnea as a perfect compliment to Tommy Hill’s youthful exuberance.

Speaking to MCN, Steve Martin said: “I’ve been speaking to Rob and I really want to get out on the bike and test. At this stage we haven’t talked about the future, but hopefully I’ll get on the bike and think it’s good and Rob will think I’ve done a good job and we can finfish the year together.”

“It could also help Tommy a bit. He’s obviously a really fast guy but sometimes a little extra experience can help. Already this year I’ve ridden a Honda and Yamaha Superbike plus the R6 in WSS.

“Riding top bikes teaches you a lot about set-up and also what it is possible to achieve.”

If the test goes to plan next Tuesday, Steve Martin would be a likely replacement for Hudson Kennaugh.

South African Kennaugh has failed to live up to expectations since he replaced James Haydon at Oulton Park back in May and scored just 14 points in eight races.

Hudson Kennaugh was at the Croft British Superbike test on Tuesday and Wednesday but the team only turned up with two bikes for Tommy Hill.

The South African said he was unhappy at being lapped at Knockhill and said that while he was off Tommy Hill’s pace in Scotland, he wasn’t a million miles away in terms of lap times and suggested it was more an issue with the bike than his riding.

He also hinted at a return to Superstock, pointing out he had only missed the two races at Mondello, though his Raceways ride that brought him success early in the year has now gone to Jon Kirkham.
Steve Martin is also well placed to comment on the news that Tommy Hill will test the Yamaha SSP World Supersport R6 in Valellunga in Italy this weekend.

Having tested and raced the bike he knows how competitive it is and believes Tommy Hill could be the man for the job.

He said: “It’s the best R6 in the world and if I had to put someone on the bike for the rest of the year I think a guy like Tommy would be at the top of my list.

“There’s actually only one clash on the calendar when the World Superbikes are in Brno and the British Superbikes go to Mallory Park, so in theory he could do both.”