MARTIN AND BMW READY TO WIN TORONTO, Ont. (May 20) - You don't win two Canadian national Superbike titles without setting some high goals, and Sherbrooke, Que.'s Francis Martin has put mighty expectations on his 2010 campaign in the Parts ...
MARTIN AND BMW READY TO WIN
TORONTO, Ont. (May 20) - You don't win two Canadian national Superbike titles without setting some high goals, and Sherbrooke, Que.'s Francis Martin has put mighty expectations on his 2010 campaign in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship.
Despite having been out of the top class for a year and riding a brand new motorcycle for the Rush HD / BMW Motorrad Canada Superbike Team, Martin is in a confident mood heading into the May 28-30 season opener at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que., just north of Montreal.
"I think we have a good shot for a podium and even a win," says the 35-year-old Martin. "That's my goal, that's my goal all the time. We're working for wins, not a couple of podiums."
If anyone can get the most out of the new BMW S1000RR, which makes its debut in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship this year, it is Martin. He won the national title in 1999 and 2005 and has seven career Canadian Superbike wins to his credit.
His optimism is fueled by the strong performance of the new bike in preseason testing, both at the JenningsGP facility in Florida and Ontario's Shannonville Motorsport Park, where the Rush HD / BMW Motorrad Canada team got in some track time last weekend.
"The bike has tons of power," Martin says. "But it is also very stable on the exit of the corner, and the entry too. It is very easy to ride."
The toughest adjustment, Martin says, has been getting the most out of the BMW's traction control system.
"It is easy to ride with the traction control, but difficult to ride hard with it," he explains. "You can get lazy. But the bike was very, very good at Shannonville. It improved the whole weekend and we are starting to understand the traction control better."
The potential of the S1000RR has given new life to Martin's racing career and he is fully recovered from the serious injuries he sustained in a crash at Atlantic Motorsport Park last August, which brought an early end to his 2009 season.
"I'm 100 percent now," he insists. "I feel like an 18-year-old, except with maybe a little more gray hair!"
Martin is also reunited with tuner Patrice Goyette, who worked on Martin's crew for three years, including his second title-winning season.
"Patrice understands me a lot," Martin explains. "We don't have to talk for a few hours to know where we want to go with the bike. It doesn't take much time at all."
Although the BMW S1000RR won't be able to utilize all its power at Circuit ICAR, Martin thinks the bike will be capable of a strong performance on the 2.8km (1.74-mile) 14-turn airport circuit.
"At Jennings and Shannonville the bike was very good out of the tight corners, the traction was good," he points out. "The bike is very stable through the corners so I think at Mirabel we will be OK."
Martin is also looking forward to performing in front of a partisan Quebec crowd for the only time this season.
"It will definitely help," he says. "I'm going to know a lot of people there. It's like a hockey team. When you play at home you're always more motivated."
A win in his home province on a brand new motorcycle would be a perfect start to the season for Martin. Don't be surprised if he pulls it off. After all, he won't be.
The opening round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship takes place May 28-30 at Circuit ICAR. For ticket information call (514) 955-4227 or visit www.circuiticar.com.
The Parts Canada Superbike Championship will hold a press conference at the track on Wednesday, May 26 at 11:00am. Members of the media will have an opportunity to meet Francis Martin and take a trip around the race track with him on a BMW S1000RR. Please RSVP to Natalie Bibeau at firstname.lastname@example.org.