Steve Martin talks 2019 Island Classic
Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy victory
Steve Martin put in a stellar effort at this years Island classic to claim the Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy from fellow Aussie Aaron Morris by a two-point margin. It was obvious to see the improvements made during the weekend that then provided Steve the confidence to really push for results.
Steve kicked off the weekend with a seventh place in the International Challenge Race 1 after a restart following a nasty crash which saw both Jason Pridmore and Beau Beaton out of the weekend through injury.
Race two saw Steve Martin forge his way into a second place finish behind Aaron Morris before then leading a Suzuki Katana 1-2-3 in Sunday morning’s race three. While Josh Hayes took the final race four win, Steve Martin took the runner up position and the overall highest points score across the four Island Classic International Challenge bouts.
Phil Harlum caught up with Steve in the aftermath of the 2019 Island Classic.
Steve Martin 2019 Island Classic Interview
Phil Harlum: Steve Martin, tell us about the weekend, it’s obviously one that started off a bit slow, but it didn’t end like that.
Steve Martin: Nah, it’s just unbelievable, when I look back at the weekend, you know… as usual I didn’t really prepare, went for two runs thinking that would be enough. I ended wearing myself out so I gave up on that. I really just can’t explain it, I worked hard on the set-up, and I was in contact with Phil Tainton, who was helping me out with a few different things, and I think that made a bit of a difference.
Phil: Tell us about the races though, you gradually got better and better as the weekend went on, culminating with victory in race three, and a strong fight to second place in the final race.
Steve: Absolutely, as soon as I got feeling in the bike, then I could tell what it was doing, in the last couple of years I really haven’t been able to feel what the bikes been doing. But this year I could feel what it was doing, give good feedback, and as soon as I did that, I knew what I wanted to go faster. As soon as I knew what I wanted, bang, the pace was there, and then obviously the more I rode… The last time I rode a bike with a race number, was here last year – I only race here, four six-lap races each year, which isn’t enough against guys like Josh Hayes, and our young guns.
“So the more laps I did the more confident I got. In the third race I got a sniff of it and I went for it. I could see I had a bit more grip than Phillis, and Metcher, who were in front of me at that time, and I thought it’s now or never, so I went for it. I didn’t even realise it was the final lap at the point, so when I came over and saw the chequered flag, I had made my move at the right time.”
Phil: Tell us about the race through victory and how special that was, because it’s been a couple of years since you’ve won an International Challenge race and few years since you won any sort of championship.
Steve: Well, it’s been 10 years believe it or not. In 1989 I won the Australian 1000cc Production championship, 1999 I won the Australian Superbike championship, 2009 I won the World Endurance championship, and in 2019 I’ve now won the Phillip Island classic, so I’m looking for a long term 10 year contract!”
Phil: Congratulations Steve well done, it’s been a big effort from you and the team!
Steve: “Thanks mate and thanks to everyone out there.”
Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy
- Steve Martin AUS 152 points
- Aaron Morris AUS 150 points
- Josh Hayes USA 141 points
- =Shawn Giles AUS 141 points
- Larry Pegram USA 130 points
- Michael Gilbert USA 128 points
- =John Reynolds NZ 128 points
- Mark Miller USA 121 points
- Craig Ditchburn 120 points
- Barrett Long 114 points
2019 International Challenge Points
- Australia – 676 points
- USA – 634 points
- New Zealand – 460 points