Northern Ireland's Mar-Train Racing team chief Tim Martin has passed over the chance to compete in the British Superbike Championship next year to focus on landing the Supersport title.

The team made a stunning debut in the British Supersport class this year, narrowly missing out on capturing the title with Dublin rider Jack Kennedy as the championship went down to the wire at the final round at Brands Hatch.

Team principal Martin has already moved to sign former British Supersport champion Stuart Easton for 2013 with a second rider due to be confirmed this week.

However, Kennedy and young prospect Taylor Mackenzie and not expected to remain in the line-up.

Mar-Train could have switched to the BSB ranks in 2013, but Martin opted to remain in the Supersport division for another season with a view to making the move to BSB in 2014.

"We were in talks with Yamaha this year about moving to British Superbikes for 2013," he told the Belfast News Letter.

"The idea was that we'd run one Supersport rider and a Superbike rider.

"But we didn't want to jump straight into Superbikes with a bike we'd never raced before and risk being uncompetitive.

"You can build a reputation up quite quickly but you can also destroy it quickly as well and we didn't want to go there to make the numbers up.

"If we go to BSB we want to go and be competitive," he added.

"The idea with Stuart is that he may have the chance to move up to BSB in 2014 with us if he wants to do that and by that time we'll have experience of the R1 and at least a base setting to work with."

Few expected the team to make such a convincing debut in the championship, but Martin had left no stone unturned in his preparations.

"It was always going to be a learning year for us as it was our first full year in British Supersport," he said.

"We had done a lot of hard work prior to going to the championship because we've been running a team for six or seven years.

"We brought in Andy Jamison [crew chief] and a few others who have worked in the British championship paddocks and that gave us a big head-start and brought us up to speed quite quickly.

"Even though we didn't bring the championship home it was a fantastic year."

Easton will also compete in the Mar-Train colours at the North West 200 in May, where he returns for the first time since a life-threatening crash in 2011.