Twenty four year old Lusk rider Martin Finnegan has accepted the offer from Vitrans / Ten Kate Honda to ride for them for the 2005 season.
The 2004 Irish Senior Road Race Champion and current Irish Motorcyclist of the year will ride the famous Vitrans Ten Kate Honda's as campaigned by World Superbike star Chris Vermeulen. Martin will compete in the British Superstock Championship on Ten Kate prepared Fireblade's however his main objective will be the three International Road Races; the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT and the Ulster Grand Prix.
Martin will also bring the exotic Honda's to selected Irish National Road Races, including the Skerries 100, which is his local meeting with Lusk based Round Tower Racing continuing their support of Martin's racing activities in 2005.
Speaking at the launch of the team at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, Martin commented "I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to join such a professional team who can deliver the machinery and infrastructure which you need to get on the podium at the International Road Races. It is an exciting time for me and for Round Tower Racing, and I can't wait for the season to start. I have been working with Joe (Barr) for the past year on a specific physical performance plan and it will be fantastic to call upon that knowledge on a day to day basis."
Team manager Joe Barr added "I have worked with both Martin and John Laverty over the past year on their physical performance plans. I see this as a fantastic opportunity and a great platform to show off the lad's talents, where everything that they have worked for can have a real chance to become a reality. I think that Martin is one of the most exciting prospects in road racing since the great David Jeffries and he has many of DJ's characteristics. I am delighted to be welcoming Martin and Round Tower Racing to Vitrans for 2005 and hope that we can give the loyal Irish fans something to shout about at the TT."
Team owner Robert Burns is just as excited about Finnegan's arrival in the team an added "This is my first foray into pure road racing and Martin is what has attracted me to this diversification. He is clearly an exciting talent with maturity beyond his years. Vitrans and Ten Kate will build him superb motorcycles and I know Joe will direct Martin to get the best out of him this season. I am hopeful that our association with Martin and Round Tower Racing will be a successful one, both on the roads and in the Superstock. I want to win the TT with Martin."
So the Irish connection at Vitrans strengthens with newly appointed team manager Joe Barr having already signed John Laverty from the European Superstock Championship for their assault on the British Superbike Championship. Martin will join John and the other members of the Vitrans team for the first time at their initial testing session at the Valencia Circuit in Spain on the 13th and 14th of December.