Reigning champion, Jack Kennedy, will join forces with the Mar-Train Yamaha squad to defend his British Supersport title in 2022.
The Dubliner, who won last year’s 600cc series on a HEL Performance /Bournemouth Kawasaki, will renew his relationship with the Northern Ireland based team he last rode for in 2012.
Now a three-time British champion in the 600cc class following his victories in 2018,’19 and ’21, Kennedy knows what is required to win the title and is confident Mar-Train will deliver.
‘I can see their professionalism and enthusiasm for racing.’ the Irish rider said.
‘I want to retain my title and joining Mar-Train gives me the best possible opportunity of doing that.’
Acquiring the current champion’s signature signals a full scale assault on the British Supersport series for the Northern Ireland based squad that won the 600cc title with Stuart Easton in 2013. Last season Mar-Train provided financial support for Co. Down’s Korie McGreevy but Team Principal, Tim Martin has assembled a new squad for the 2022 campaign with Andy Jamison recruited as Kennedy’s crew chief and McAMS engine builder, Kev Stephenson, tuning the team’s R6 Yamahas.
‘We are moving back into the championship, running our own team, with our own personnel.’ the transport company boss explained.
‘We want to give ourselves the best shot at winning races and a championship. Although we spoke to a few riders, Jack was always our Number One target.’
Alongside claiming their 2013 Supersport title, the Co. Down squad has accumulated a wealth of experience on the roads and in the British championships with riders like Kirk Jamison, Alastair Seeley, Glenn Irwin, Dan Kneen, Dean Harrison, William Dunlop and Korie McGreevy since it was set up in 2008.
‘We all know what to expect now and it is a bonus to have an Irish rider in the team.’ Martin said.
Jack Kennedy enjoys an even more impressive pedigree. The Dubliner has won more races than any other rider in the British 600cc series with 49 victories and his third title win in 2021 saw him equal the late Karl Harris’s achievement.
‘I want to make it four championships now.’ he said.
‘No-one gets tired of winning. I never get complacent and I am always trying to improve otherwise your rivals will get the upperhand when you least expect it.’
Both the Mar-Train Yamaha team and their new signing have come a long way since they last worked together in 2012. Kennedy lost out to Glenn Richards in that year’s championship after breaking down in the final race of the season.
‘We were on the verge of winning the title and I only needed to finish to win it.’ Kennedy explained.
‘It was one of the hardest and most heartbreaking times in my career. You move on but I still have unfinished business with Mar-Train.’
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHEN DAVISON