Valencia: Steve Martin race notes

Best ever WSB weekend for Steve Martin. Australian Superbike racer Steve Martin showed the world he's one of the top WSB riders in the series after scoring his best ever WSB grid position and equalling his best WSB race finishes. In a great ...

Best ever WSB weekend for Steve Martin.

Australian Superbike racer Steve Martin showed the world he's one of the top WSB riders in the series after scoring his best ever WSB grid position and equalling his best WSB race finishes.

In a great weekend of racing in very difficult conditions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit near Valencia, Spain, Martin took his DFX Racing Ducati to a best ever Superpole result and a fifth and sixth in the races.

In both races Martin had to battle hard with other riders to earn his championship points. In race a titanic battle was going on between Pirelli-shod Steve Martin and Dunlop rider Regis Laconi. The two Ducatis exchanged sponsor stickers for a few laps before Laconi finally got the advantage in the closing stages, leaving Martin forced to settle for sixth.

"Conditions were so different here this weekend compared to when we tested here just a week ago," explained Steve, "this meant many riders struggled to get their tyre choice right and that included me. By the end of race one I'd used up my front tyre and had to back off and let Laconi go and settle for sixth." It was a shame to have to let the Frenchman go because Steve had recorded a faster lap time than Laconi during the race.

Anyone watching the TV coverage, which gave Martin loads of exposure, would have witnessed Steve sliding both tyres like a dirt-bike racer through the tortuous twists and turns that make up the Spanish circuit.

In race two the battle for fifth was a three-man affair. This time Steve Martin won an aggressive race-long duel with Gregorio Lavilla and Troy Corser to take a well-deserved fifth. It was Pirelli versus Michelin versus Dunlop as the three fought for supremacy. In the end Martin and the Pirelli-shod Ducati twin clinched it from Lavilla on the Suzuki with Dunlops and Corser on the FP1 triple enjoying the latest top-spec 2003 Michelins.

After such a great weekend Steve is really fired up for the next round back home in Australia. "It's not our best circuit, we've struggled there in the past but I'm enjoying my racing and I'm looking forward to racing in front of the Australian crowd."

World Superbike Championship
Race results and best lap times:

Race One, Valencia, 2 March
1. N Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 1'35.557*
2. R Xaus, ESP, Ducati, 1'35.645
3. C Walker, GBR, Ducati, 1'36.263
4. J Toseland, GBR, Ducati, 1'36.303
5. R Laconi, FRA, Ducati, 1'36.738
6. S Martin, AUS, Ducati, 1'36.615

Race Two,
1. N Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 1'35.007
2. R Xaus, ESP, Ducati, 1'35.288
3. J Toseland, GBR, Ducati, 1'35.808
4. C Walker, GBR, Ducati, 1'36.909
5. S Martin, AUS, Ducati, 1'36.887
6. G Lavilla ESP, Suzuki, 1'36.589

-smr-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Steve Martin , Gregorio Lavilla , Laconi Régis