Owned and managed by Stoke Golding’s Malcolm Ashley, the MAR squad have been participating in the British Championship series since 2003 when Ashley took his Ducati to 8th overall in that year’s Privateer’s Cup.
Ninth place was achieved the following year but significant strides were made with a switch to Kawasaki machinery in 2005 and with one win and six podiums, Ashley was able to claim 5th in the Championship. 2007 saw him have his best year and nine more podiums took him to 4th overall and although he scaled down his racing activities in 2008, he still claimed another 9th place in the championship table. Substitute rider, Australian Shannon Etheridge, recorded a string of top six finishes to take 7th and ensure another successful year for MAR.
For 2009, MAR has signed reigning Irish Superbike Champion Brian McCormack for a full assault on the Daily Star Privateer’s Cup once more but they will also contest a busy programme at the TT, further proof of the success of the rider recruitment programme and the resurgence of the races in general. Waterford’s McCormack was part of the Newcomer’s visit in August last year and immediately signalled his intentions to compete in 2009, something that has now come to fruition with one of the most professional and experienced teams within the BSB paddock.
Speaking about his TT debut, which will see him contest both the Superbike and Senior races, 25-year old McCormack commented:
“I’m delighted to have joined the MAR team not only for the British Superbike Championship but also for the Isle of Man TT. I really enjoyed my visit to the Island last August and, as it was a longstanding ambition of mine to race at the TT, I made my mind up there and then to compete at this year’s race. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do both BSB and the TT with the same team but MAR are 100% committed to me to do both. I’m really excited about making my debut on the TT course with one of the most respected, professional and experienced teams within the BSB paddock. I have no doubt they will be able to transform their BSB experience onto the roads and it’s a terrific prospect for both myself and the team.”
Team manager Malcolm Ashley said:
“We are very excited to secure the signature of the reigning ISB Champion and equally excited to be participating in the TT for the first time. We’ve been huge fans of the TT for some time now and with Brian expressing his desire to compete; it made perfect sense for us to be able to assist him with that. We’re well aware of the huge task in front of us but we’re totally committed to the TT this year and I’m sure our BSB experience and knowledge will be of great value to us on the Island.”
Isle of Man Minister for Tourism and Leisure, Martyn Quayle MHK said:
“The profile of the TT is rising every year with more established teams coming across to compete from the British Superbike Championship than ever before. Both MAR and their rider, Brian McCormack enjoy a high profile and they are welcome additions to our event I am sure our visitors from Southern Ireland will be following Brian’s progress with interest.”