Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WSBK: Sponsorship Woes End Steve Martin's Season

According to, Aussie World Superbike rider Steve Martin has lost his ride at DFX Honda due to sponsorship problems.
The news seems to have come as a complete shock to Martin, and is yet another blow to a rider whose WSBK career has never quite fulfilled its potential. The Australian had been assured by the team at the start of the season that sponsorship was in place. DFX will continue to run Martin's team-mate Michel Fabrizio, who has personal sponsorship from Honda Europe.
This is yet another example of the difficulty of securing sponsorship for motorsport, and bike racing in particular. World Superbikes are much cheaper than MotoGP, and have a more fan-friendly format of two races per meeting. However, money is still inextricably linked with success. Sponsors want to see results, not potential, and this is seemingly what has led to Steve Martin's WSBK demise for this season.
The World Superbike championship is in good form this year, with Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki all having produced excellent machines. Losing one rider is not the end of the world for the championship, but it will be worrying for teams without cast-iron sponsorship contracts.

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