Former Australian Superbike and 2009 FIM World Endurance champion Steve Martin says his mission as part of the Australian Phillip Island Classic team is to beat as many of the English riders as he can.
Martin, who is now working for Motorcycling Australia as commentator for the Australian Superbike Championship and as road tester for Australian Motorcycle News, explained that the home team has much stronger young riders in the team to beat the top guys.
“I’m getting on a bit now, so I take it as I can,” said the 48-year-old, who finished third overall in last year’s International Challenge, after stringing together a 5-4-3-4 result aboard the TBR/D&D/QBE Suzuki Katana entered machine.
Martin also told Bikesportnews.com that the Aussie team also had a massive machine disadvantage compared to the bikes that Team GB have on board to do battle with.
“Shawn Giles and I are about the only two guys out there that have bikes out there that replicate what the class is all about.
“It is what it is, so we’ll continue to battle hard and hopefully turn the tables around this year and win back the International Challenge.”
Each year at the International Island Classic, the event is drawing more and more of the younger generation riders such as Jed Metcher, Chas Hern, and UK’s Peter Hickman.
For Martin, is he somewhat amazed that so many young riders are wanting to race these ‘old’ bikes at the ‘Island’ apart of their respected teams?
“Am I amazed at the amount of young riders coming into the teams? No. You get around 25,000 spectators at the Island Classic. The event is huge! It’s a massive event. These young modern racers come in to obviously try and win the event, and it’s always better to win in front of 25,000 people, than nobody,” explained Martin who racked up a total of 183 World Superbike race starts, which included five podium finishes in 2004 when he raced for the D.F.Xtreme Sterilgarda team.
Martin also added that he was really looking forward to the Island Classic as it’s something that he looks forward to every year.
“I’m really looking forward to getting down to the Island and get out on track. I believe the Australian team have got a strong team this time out. The English won last year, and this year we want to get our own back.”