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John Reynolds: in his own words

Published: 04 November 2001

Laszlo: When you started out what did you find most interesting/fascinating about racing?

JohnReynolds: Basically the competition. I just loved racing bikes. I just loved riding bikes for that matter. The next thing was, " I can ride pretty well, I wonder how good I am? " That's what the fascination was. And I still have that enjoyment in my job now

Dave: How is it that you and Ben Atkins get on so well, when you seem to be one of the quietest people in the paddock, and he seems to be one of the most outspoken?

JohnReynolds: Well that's it, two opposites tend to attract. Ben's very strong willed, as I am, to be honest with you, but Ben tends to do all the shouting for me, and I tend to keep my mouth shut.

gsxxer400: Would you rather be in British or World Superbikes?

JohnReynolds: I enjoy British, and it all depends at the end of the day, what's going to pay the best. If I was going to be in WSB it would be as long as the machinery is capable of winning races.

swampy: Do you feel you have unfinished business in WSB, after all, your last time there was with the disappointing Suzuki effort.

JohnReynolds: Yeah, I do. I feel there's a lot unfinished. I don't think I did as well as was possible on the Suzuki, and if I got a competitive ride in WSB I'd take that chance.

weebles: How much longer do you think you can continue at the top level of the sport?

JohnReynolds: Well I`m certainly not thinking of retiring just yet! I’ll take each year as it comes and there's no reason why I can't continue for another three or four years. Things can come along and change your mind, but looking at it, there's nothing I'd rather be doing at the moment.

Ann: You come across as being so quiet, do you ever let you hair down and party

JohnReynolds: Yeah, you bet I do! I have a pressure valve built in and I can be well behaved for a quite a while, but then I need to let my hair down. I’m a professional, that's why I’m well behaved when I should be, because that's part of the job.

Nedkelly: what do you do in the off season?

JohnReynolds: Well. at the moment I’m probably busier than I have been all year. There's the motorcycle show and various functions to go to so I’ll work all through November, hopefully take a couple of weeks off in December to recharge my batteries, and then start training again.

DPC: When will you be at the NEC Show and where can people find you?

JohnReynolds: I’m there tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday, and I’ll be on the Motrex Oil stand and also the Ducati stand.

Kelly: How well do you get on with Sean Emmett?

JohnReynolds: Very well. I used to hate his guts and he used to hate me, but I’d say of all the people in the paddock he's probably my best mate. We were both doing the same job in GPs chasing the same rides, and I never got to really know him, except for what I read but getting to know him and working with him, he's a diamond geezer. A brilliant bloke.

Gary: It says there's bad blood between you and Haydon (in the Donington MCN report). Was that from last year when you were int he same team? And why is that?

JohnReynolds: Yeah, we didn't see eye to eye a lot of the time last year, and James made it quite clear that whatever he's thinking, he'll let you know, and you don't like to hear it when people are slagging you off. But we've patched it up this year and we're pretty good mates. We certainly speak to each other a lot more now. I think it was James not liking me, more than me not liking James.

JohnReynolds: Yeah, I'm sad really. He's a good manager and we've become quite good friends over the years. He's had a big input, working with the team and making sure I’ve been on the ball, so it's a shame he's gone.

DPC: Do you fancy riding the Sauber?

JohnReynolds: Do I fancy riding it? I’d like to have a go on it. I`d like to have a go on a lot of things. It'll be interesting to see what happens there

DPC: Not had any calls then?

JohnReynolds: Bollocks, No I’ve not...what are you implying?

Slappy: John, does the threat of the 1000 4 cyls bother you at all?

JohnReynolds: Yes, it does. I think it could quite easily turn into a Suzuki benfit race. Everyone looks at the Ducatis, but I don't think they'll be able to hold a light to the big four-cylinders.

Nedkelly: Who is your biggest rival for next year?

JohnReynolds: I think James is going to be strong next year, Hizzy again, Sean Emmett, and Karl Harris will be strong and one of the men to beat

Nedkelly: Do you find the Pitt Dollies a distraction?

JohnReynolds: No, not at all. They're nice to look at, though.

Rfrater: Whats the best road bike you've been on and what you do think is the best 600 sports bike?

JohnReynolds: Well I’ve not really ridden that many bikes on the roads to be honest. The Ducati 996 was the best I’ve ever ridden. As for 600s, Suzuki make a damn good one but they're all very close anyway.

Mikeseal: You say this is a Suzuki race benefit. How we not had a Ducati one for the past 2 years

JohnReynolds: *laughs* At the moment the Ducati is probably the best bike, but there's the cost as well, it costs an arm and a leg to run them, but we'll have to see what happens

Sirdavidofjackson: John, would you consider switching to a 4 cylinder bike to compete next year?

JohnReynolds: Yeah, I’d talk to anybody. Everything is up in the air at the moment and I haven't really made a decision yet. But yes, I would love to ride a 4 cylinder.

DPC: No announcement at the NEC then?

JohnReynolds: No, there'll be nothing at the moment anyway. I’m waiting to find out what Ben is doing next year. Hopefully I’ll know by the end of the week so there might be something I guess, but I’ll let you know.

DPC: Is it possible Ben might use other bikes next year?

JohnReynolds: Yes, it is. There's a lot of talking to be done yet but Ducatis are so expensive to run and he's obviously considering other options.

Steve: What did you think when you saw what happened to Steve Hislop at Rockingham?

JohnReynolds: Well total disbelief really. I was mortified to be honest with you. I didn't really know what had happened, I know it was a bad injury, but it looked even worse than it was. I was just happy to hear that he was conscious.

Dant: I know that Steve said in an earlier webchat from his hospital bed that you were one of the first people to call on Monday morning, but that he was still waiting for some flowers!

JohnReynolds: I didn't send Steve any flowers, but I did send him a card. He's actually the next person I’m phoning when I’m done here. I'm going to see how's he doing and coping, no business.

Dazzle: Hey John, are you looking forward to the Derby Pheonix Dinner on the 19th where you are the guest of honour?

JohnReynolds: I can't wait. I’m really looking forward to it. That club has been my club since I started racing really, but I’ve never actually gone to the dinner so I’m looking forward to seeing all my mates there. But I’m not looking forward to the speech though! It’ll be a chance to let my hair down!

Nedkelly: Given that a riders career is relatively short compared to other professions - what do you thin k about doing when it's all over?

JohnReynolds: Well I’ve thought about going into property, cos I’ve got some mates in the building trade, but I’d like to go into running a race team to be honest. I’ve spent most of my life in racing, and I think I've got a fair amount to offer, and it'd be a shame to chuck it all away wouldn't it

Motorex: which was your best ride during the season do you think

JohnReynolds: Probably, erm, I think the second race at Doninton with James was a tough one. I think they were all pretty hot with Steve, but then again I enjoyed that last race at Donington.

Rfrater: where do you think Kawasaki are going with Suzuki??

JohnReynolds: I don't really know that much about it to be honest. I don't know there's a lot of experience there between the two factories and if they are able to share all that and gel together then that would be fabulous wouldn't it?

Mikeseal: John what do you think the future holds for the WSB with the rule changes being made to compete with GP1?

JohnReynolds: Yeah, I think WSB is on a sticky wicket at the moment, I really do, and all manufacturers will be gearing up for GP1. So WSB could be left in the cold if they aren't careful.

JohnReynolds: It's a shame because I don't know where it's all going at the moment. There's a lot of 250 riders looking for rides at the moment. I don't know really why they decided to knock it on the head, because it's some of the best racing out there at the moment, isn't it.

Nedkelly: Just how good is Rossi in your opinion.. particularly at Donnington?

JohnReynolds: As far as I’m concerned he's probably the best ever rider. Ever, ever. There's no one that seems to have been as good as him and he's even got in a car and gone round just as fast. It's just raw talent.

Dazzle: Would you rather have a Benelli Tornado, Ducati 998 or MV Agusta?

JohnReynolds: I’d like an MV I think. Just for looks. I’ve never ridden one, I’d just like to see one in my garage.

Nedkelly: is dirt biking something you did as a kid?

JohnReynolds: Yeah, I used to race motocross when I was 8 years old. I went all the way up and did European championships. I think it certainly helped me speed up the learning process for road racing.

Slim shady: Who's better Eddie kid or Evel Kneivel ?

JohnReynolds: What now? Well I grew up watching and admiring Evel Kneivel but I think Eddie Kidd was the more talented rider in his day. Evel was just a nutcase

Nedkelly: Carl Fogarty... Legend or Big Mouth?

JohnReynolds: He's a good mate of mine. I wouldn't call him a Big Mouth! He says his piece, and he’s not afraid of upsetting anybody, but to win four championships you have to be a bit special.

Colinclegg: How do you view some of the up and coming riders such as Shakey ?

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JohnReynolds: He's a talent. He's not done as well this year as I thought he would. There's quite a few good young riders, Toseland is good, he's doing well, Karl Harriss, there are lots of good prospects.

Paulturton: what do you think of Haydon on the Crescent Suzuki gsxr1000

JohnReynolds: Why is that what's happening? Yeah, he'll take some catching on that

Paulturton: I was at Oulton last week and he was there and he looked bloody fast

JohnReynolds: Yeah, he will be...what were his lap times?

Paul: What's your favourite music?

JohnReynolds: Er, my musical taste is massive, wide ranging. Rock, country, pop anything. I should say I’m a good friend of Keith Flint from the Prodigy as well. In the stereo at this very second is Led Zeppelin volume 4.

Colinclegg: Didn't Keith buy one of the old Redbull bikes ?

JohnReynolds: Yes, he did. It's in his living room...

JohnReynolds: Thanks to everyone for joining us, but I better head off, because I'd like to find out how Steve's doing, and I hope to see you all at the NEC.

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