Chris Martin was the 2006 BSB Cup champion. Now he’s one of two riders in the exciting new-look Gearlink Kawasaki team in British Supersport. MCN spoke to him about his new ride.
MCN: Chris, superbike to superposrt. How do you see this, as a step backwards or a positive career move?
Martin: Very positive. People might view it as a backward step but this is the one chance I have of proving myself to the people who matter and get back into BSB in the future on a factory bike. It’s a chance to win races and that’s got to be better than running around at the back of the field on a privateer superbike,.
MCN: You won the Cup competition in 2006 but last year looked a nightmare and you appeared to be shadow of your firmer explosive self. What was the problem?
Martin: It was a bit of a disaster really. The team struggled and the bike was constantly leaking water. I got really downheartened because I was trying so hard to get results but crashing all the time. Two good examples: I went down at Coppice, Donington due to a water leak. I took out Camier when I crashed at the Mallory chicane after the water came out. I only finished half of the 26 races.
MCN: What did that do to your confidence?
Martin: It was gone. When the bike held together I rode okay. At Cadwell I held Rutter off right to the end but he pipped me on the line for 10th place. I was gutted.
MCN: You’ve already tested the Gearlink Kawasaki at Mallory. What was it like riding a 600?
Martin: I went to form 125s to a superbike so I never rode a 600 before. It was a great feeling to be able to hold it pinned out of certain corners! I felt confident on the bike but still a bit wary initially. It took all day for me to regain my confidence after the year I had in 2007. I know we’ll have a good bike and all I want to do is be able to run up front every weekend.