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Northern Ireland’s Mar-Train Racing team in full-scale return for 2021 British Supersport Championship with Korie McGreevy

by / Saturday, 06 March 2021 / Published in Blog / News, Motor Bike Racing

By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter.

Picture By Baylon McCaughey.

Northern Ireland’s Mar-Train Racing team will make a sensational full-scale return to the British Supersport Championship this year for the first time since 2014, the News Letter can reveal.

The highly-successful Lisburn-based team will run Ballynahinch’s Korie McGreevy in the Supersport class on a Yamaha R6.

Owned by Tim and Sonya Martin, Mar-Train Racing won the British Supersport title with Scotsman Stuart Easton in 2013 and also twice finished as the runners-up with Dubliner Jack Kennedy and Ulsterman Alastair Seeley in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Carrick rider Seeley also bagged a double on the Mar-Train Yamaha at the North West 200 in 2014, delivering the Co Down team’s maiden road racing wins.

Martin switched his focus to the international road races in 2015 and 2016, with Gary Johnson and Dan Kneen claiming rostrum finishes at the Isle of Man TT, while Yorkshireman Dean Harrison won the Scarborough Gold Cup in 2015.

Tragically, it proved an ill-fated association as the 32-year-old lost his life in a crash during practice at the Skerries 100.

In an exclusive interview, Martin said that while his involvement in road racing is over, he hoped to take 23-year-old McGreevy – who won the British Superstock 600 title in 2019 – to the next stage of his career.

“We’ve been a sponsor of Korie’s since 2010 and he’s well known in our household,” Martin said.

“He rode a 125 Aprilia for us in the production class, so he’s probably the rider that we’ve had the longest association with ever.

“We stepped in to help him out last season and bought him an engine, because it was evident his bike was slow and he was having to over-ride it to try and keep up.

“We got the engine mapped and set up for him for the final round at Brands Hatch and although he didn’t get on the podium, he was consistently in the top six. Once he got his head down, his lap times would have been similar to the top three, so it proved that he had the pace but maybe didn’t have the confidence to go with the guys at the start,” he added.

“But he suitably impressed us and we started talking about this season.

“Korie has a couple of really good sponsors who have stuck by him in Century Racing, out of the Century Bar in Ballynahinch, and Ashvale Engineering. They stood by him through difficult times last year and they deserve credit because some sponsors just disappear when the results aren’t there.

“They’re both local guys running local businesses and they’re on board this year, so we’ve decided to put the effort in and give Korie a proper try.”

Martin said his decision to bring the famous blue and white Mar-Train colours back to the British championship paddock was based on providing young prospect McGreevy with the chance to fulfil his potential.

“My goal for Korie is slightly different to what it was when we first went to the British championship,” he said.

“I want to be part of his story and I genuinely think he’s good enough to be paid for what he does, and we all just want to give him the right tools to put himself in the shop front so we can maybe get him to the point where one of this big teams would be willing to come in give him a paid ride.

“The old blue and white Mar-Train colours are back and we’ve put a bit of a different slant on them and it looks quite smart, so everybody’s keen to get going.”

McGreevy made the step up to the Supersport class last year but only rode in selected rounds after his plans fell through.

However, he is now determined to seize his chance with the former title-winning team in 2021 and hopes to be fighting for the rostrum.

“Tim knows what it takes to win a British Supersport title and the team has a really good record in the class,” he said.

“For Tim to have the full enthusiasm to go back is fantastic, but just because he’s won it before doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy because there are world-class riders in the championship this year.

“You’ve got riders like Jack Kennedy and Kyle Smyth is back again, but we hope to be in the mix and I can’t see a reason why we won’t be too far away. I want to be as competitive as I can and I want to be on the rostrum again, and Tim is hopefully giving me the opportunity to do that,” McGreevy added.

“I’m not delusional and I know the calibre of riders I’m up against this year, but there’s no reason why I can’t believe that I’ll be able to fight for podiums this year.

“I just want to be at the front-end of the field again and I’ve got great support around me.

“A lot of my sponsors are local and Century are back on with me again, who’ve been very loyal to me in the past, so it’s basically a full Co Down team and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.”

 

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