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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”