British Superbikes: No Steve Martin for Croft

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Steve Martin won’t be lining up on the Virgin Yamaha R1 for the British Superbike round at Croft this weekend alongside Tommy Hill.

Although the Aussie worked with the team in the Brands World Superbike round, a post-race discussion with Virgin Yamaha boss Rob McElnea resulted in deciding not to go ahead with plans for him to join the team for the remainder of the British Superbike season.

Rob McElnea said: “It’s a shame it’s not worked out. Martin’s a nice guy and gelled well with the team when we tested at Donington, and again at Brands but he doesn’t feel he’s up to speed enough to jump in the deep end at BSB tracks he’s no experience of and chase the sort of results we’re looking for.

“He’s just not had enough track time this year, apart from his Suzuka Eight Hour ride and some tests, that’s it and to expect him to go to Croft and do the business is asking a bit too much.”

The Virgin team will now continue with Tommy Hill as their sole rider in the superbike class, while Tom Grant and Billy McConnell continue to front their British Supersport team.

Rob McElnea said: “Brands was a good test for us though. We tried some new gearbox parts and looked at what the factory team are doing with their fuel injection.

“Tommy had a good ride at Brands on the 600. He had three crashes but rode really well in the race, with the pressure of knowing he had to bring it home. He’ll be up for it this weekend back on the superbike so we’re all looking forward to Croft.”

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin