23-year-old Andy Reid has spent the first four rounds of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship watching from the sidelines after being unable to secure a ride.
This weekend he’ll line-up to make his debut in the Superbike class after being handed a lifeline by Philip Neill’s Tyco BMW team, and it’s not an opportunity the Carrickfergus rider is planning to waste.
“I’m absolutely stoked, I can’t wait to get going,” Reid told MCN in an exclusive interview. “It’s going to be fun, but a steep learning curve for sure. As long as I keep a smile on my face and enjoy riding the bike, it’s a recipe for success no doubt.”
While Reid has no Superbike experience, his pro-active approach while without a ride this year has impressed team boss Neill. The young gun has been at every round so far this year ensuring his face remained at the forefront of people’s mind, helping out with commentary and working as a mentor for youngsters in the KTM RC390 Cup.
“You see a lot of other riders without a ride sitting at home as they can’t bring themselves to go to a race,” Reid said. “I tell you now, it’s not very fun being at a race track when you feel you should be racing, but I knew I had to play the long game and I think it’s paid off.”
Reid won’t be completely fresh to the Tyco BMW S1000RR as he jumps on it at Snetterton this weekend after a quick shakedown test at the Kirkistown circuit in Northern Ireland last week.
“It was good to get out at Kirkistown and blow off the cobwebs, I haven’t ridden a bike in nearly nine months and the last bike I rode was a 600. It’s hard to compare, but I felt comfortable straight away. The BMW is a lovely bike to ride, it’s so nimble. There’s definitely scope and potential for good results come the end of the year.”
Reid’s deal comes at a time when young talent is flourishing in BSB. 24-year-old Luke Mossey took the lead of the championship standings last time out at Knockhill while 21-year-old Jake Dixon took his debut victory with a stunning double at the Scottish circuit.
“Luke and Jake are two very talented riders and they are showing it. What they are able to do is testament for talented young riders who want to get into the Superbike class to showcase what they’ve got against such big names. There’s ex-World Championship riders, multiple British Champions, if you can go in there and mix it with the big guys and get some results, it shows what you’re capable of.”
However, while Reid is keen to show what he’s capable of he’s also determined to remain realistic as he heads into his rookie race in the Superbike class.
“I’m sure there might be some people who think I should be fast straight away in a factory team, but I’m realistic. I haven’t ridden a bike in a long time and I have a new bike and new team to get used to. This is going to be a steep learning curve, but I’m here for the rest of the season so really this is just pre-season testing for us!
“The idea is to keep the bike upright, do lots of laps and get comfortable with the thing. We’ll take it as it comes, work with the guys who have a lot of experience and suck up all the information like a sponge as that’s going to be the best way to get the most out of this package.”
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