Sport

Shock as Co Down's Mar-Train call it a day after over a decade in motorcycle racing

 Dean Harrison racing for Mar-Train in the Superstock race at last year's Ulster Grand Prix
Willis Marshall

County Down based Mar-Train Racing team has confirmed its withdrawal from motorcycle racing after more than a decade.

The team won the British Supersport Championship with Stuart Easton in 2013 and twice finished as runners-up in the class with Dubliner Jack Kennedy (2012) and Carrickfergus rider Alastair Seeley (2014).

After focusing on the major international road races over the past few years, the Lisburn-based outfit tasted success for the first time at the North West 200 in 2014, where Seeley bagged a double in the Supersport class.

Mar-Train Racing became Yamaha UK's official road racing team in 2015 in a two-year deal, with Dean Harrison joining the team, while Dan Kneen took over the reins this year.

The team had the option of continuing as Yamaha's official representatives at the international road races for the next two years, but team owner and heavy haulage company boss Tim Martin says the time was right to call it quits after more than a decade in the sport.

In a statement, he said: “This has been a tough decision to make, 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. I have had numerous discussions with YMUK over the past couple of months and the package they have put together for us for the next two years is 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 has been enough and it is time to step back.

“When I look back through our list of accolades I am very proud of my whole team and what we have achieved, winning the British Supersport title in 2013 was the pinnacle for me, closely followed by our North West 200 victories and Isle of Man TT podium.

“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 out there,” added Martin.

Mar-Train Yamaha's decision also means that Manxman Dan Kneen has been left with a rider in 2017 as is on the hunt for a suitable replacement.

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