End of the line as Tim puts brakes on Mar-Train team
A major blow for road racing fans and event organisers, is this morning's announcement, that Co Down-based Mar-Train Racing, who despite a proposed two-year extension to their deal with Yamaha UK, has decided to call it a day.
Team owner Tim Martin, whose team has tasted major success in British championship and also at the Vauxhall International North West 200 and MCE Ulster Grand Prix, believes now is the correct time to opt out of racing and concentrate on business and family commitments.
"This has been a tough decision to make," lamented Saintfield-based haulage firm owner Martin. "My heart is, of course, telling me to continue but in my head I know it is the right time for us to step down, both as a team and a family."
Speaking of the tempting offer that Yamaha UK had offered, he continued: "I have had numerous discussions with Yamaha Motor UK over the past couple of months and the package they had put together for us for the next two years was extremely tempting.
"I am sorry to have to let them down, but when I consider the personal commitment required for another two years, I just feel that a decade in racing has been enough for us, and it is time to step back."
Recounting his success over that 10 year period, which began back in 2006 with Denver Robb, Tim added: "When I look back through our list of achievements I am very proud of my whole team and what we have achieved.
"Winning the British Supersport title with Stuart Easton in 2013 was the pinnacle for me. That was closely followed by our North West 200 victories and an Isle of Man TT podium."
Speaking of his list of riders, which included such notables as Alastair Seeley, Dean Harrison and Gary Johnson, who lifted the aforementioned wins at the NW200 and TT, he said: "We have been lucky to work with a number of excellent riders and I would like to thank them all for their time with us.
"If I have to single anyone out, I would have to say Stuart Easton is a class act, both on and off the track, and an excellent example for any young rider."
This season Mar-Train Racing ran Manxman Dan Kneen, who produced some encouraging performances after coming back from injury, but the last word goes to former rider Kirk Jamison, the 2011 Irish Superbike champion, a friend and advisor to Tim and wife Sonya Martin's team since his retirement.
"Mar-Train's departure will undoubtedly leave a large void in the local racing scene," said the Greyabbey man.
"They provided a matchless level of professionalism on the Irish scene before going off to conquer the British Supersport Championship, and have been a great addition to the road racing scene in recent years. I wish them all the best with whatever their future holds."