Steve Martin was today unexpectedly informed that his ride with the DFX Honda World Superbike team was no longer available, due to lack of finances for the Italian squad.
Just days before being due to leave his home in Switzerland for the next round of the championship at Donington in the UK, the vastly experienced Aussie rider was clearly disappointed and bemused by the news, commenting, "I'm absolutely gutted. Not just for me but also my whole bike crew.
"Just before the start of the season I was reassured by DFX that they definitely had sufficient money to run both me and Fabrizio for the whole year, and on that basis I decided to continue with the team, despite still having other options of rides at that time. So to now be told, just two races into the season, that the team doesn't actually have enough budget is unbelievable and puts me in a position that could have been avoided.
"It's also so disappointing after how much progress we've made with the bike during testing over the off-season, to now not be able to progress with that and turn it into some good results.
"But most of all I'm a racer and just want to race, as I know I'm as capable and competitive as ever to run with the front of the field.
"I've obviously spent the day on the phone talking to everyone to try and secure funding or avenues for another ride, but as expected, so early into the season is not the time of the year to be trying to find either of those."
The DFX team will continue to run with team-mate Fabrizio in the 2007 Superbike World Championship as he is a Honda Europe rider, and therefore financed from that source.
Steve will still be at Donington for the third round of the championship on 30/31 March - 1 April, and plans to remain in Europe for the remainder of the racing season, rather than return to his native Australia, in order to try and secure sponsorship or an alternative place on the World Superbike grid.