Roads: Last minute Superbike deal for William Dunlop

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Mar-Train Racing owners Tim and Sonya Martin have stepped in at the last minute to provide William Dunlop with 1000cc machinery to race at this year’s three international road races.

Dunlop was left without a ride after a deal with the Halsall Racing team fell through at the last minute after a technical issue with the BMW machinery purchased by the former BSB team.

The news comes after Tim and Sonya Martin made the shock decision to disband their Mar-Train Racing team and quit road racing earlier this year and they insist that helping Dunlop this season won’t change their minds.

They will play no part in the running of the team, but will hand their two R1-M machines to Dunlop and crew chief Alister Russell to run under the banner of Temple Golf Club, which was recently acquired by the Martins.  

“Alister and William contacted me out of the blue last Thursday about doing a deal,” said Tim Martin.  


“Our two R1M bikes are currently for sale but we have agreed to let William use them for the year meaning they will be available to purchase again after the Ulster Grand Prix. I have a lot of time for Alister after his time with us a few years ago and it is no secret that I had tried a few times to get William to ride for Mar-Train racing over the years. 

“Sonya and I undertook a new venture in the Temple Golf Club after withdrawing from racing and we have no intention of backtracking on our decision to quit running a team. We do want to promote the club though and William competing Internationally on our bikes will be an excellent way of doing that. William and Alister will run the bikes themselves and I am confident they will do an excellent job. 

“I would just like to wish the boys all the best for the year and of course encourage everyone to drop in and have a meal with us at the newly refurbished Temple Golf Club.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing