Belfast Telegraph

Reid ready to follow in dad's tracks

By Paul Lindsay

Simon Reid is the latest son to emerge from a Northern Ireland racing family with aspirations of following in the tyre tracks of his famous father.

Brian Reid is a double Formula 2 World champion after success in 1985 and 1986, in a career which also produced five Isle of Man TT tops steps among a raft of top-flight results and accolades which included being crowned Irish Motorcyclist of the Year in 1983 and 1989.

Tomorrow night, reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea, the son of TT winner Johnny Rea, is favourite to be named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year at a gala black tie gathering in Belfast and now young Reid, at 21, is ready to commence his own journey.

A former Irish, Ulster and British youth motocross champion, and in more recent years a leading freestyle BMX performer, the blonde-haired youngster has always shown a tangible ingenuity for anything involving two wheels.

Now it's time for some tarmac action, and taking his family history into account we could well have another racing prodigy in our midst.

Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph, the first thing apparent about Reid is that he is very comfortable in his own skin. Despite having made the decision to enter an arena once dominated by his father, where he will carry the famous Reid surname emblazoned on his leathers - not to mention the very large boots he will have to fill - he cannot wait to get started.

"I'm probably coming into it a bit later than most at 21. You only have to look at the likes of Scott Swann, who is flying already in the British Championship and is only 14," said Reid, who has secured backing from Crossan Motorcycles' Adrian Fegan, who, despite supporting a large number of riders over the years, is best known for his time with the late, great Robert Dunlop.

Fegan will supply Reid with an ER-6 Kawasaki, the current bike of choice in the Supertwin class, where he will cut his teeth in this season's Irish Short Circuit Championships.

"I've been away from motocross for almost 10 years now, so this is what I really want to do," he said enthusiastically.

A cruciate ligament injury at just 14 put an embargo on Reid's promising motocross career, and that was followed by a serious back injury that eventually channelled him down the BMW route, where his two-wheel prowess saw him once again win national titles as well as appearing in a music video with American superstar Rihanna.

But for young Reid, the lure of horsepower over pedal power was always scratching at the surface and following an outing at Kirkistown on a Supertwin, the next chapter was already being pencilled in.

"My brother Mark had an SV650 Suzuki and I had a few rides on that, but I was BMXing quite seriously at the time and running my own club over at T13 at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast training kids," Reid explained.

"I had 30 or 40 kids coming to me every week. But as things go, I got talking to a guy at the Ulster Grand Prix last year and he organised a run-out for me on an ER-6 Supertwin. I loved it and my mind's been pretty much made up since then."

Explaining the dynamics of the deal with Crossan Motorcycles, he said: "Adrian from Crossan Motorcycles has bought me an ER-6 Kawasaki but we will be running it ourselves.

"Dad said he will be there 'to advise' as he put it, and one of my good mates will be on the spanners.

"The Supertwin is a good starting point for me in terms of cost and learning the circuits, but the plan is to get on a '600' as soon as possible. Adrian also has an R6 Yamaha, so the plan would be to get a couple of runs out on that during the year too."

With an entire season of Ulster and Irish Championship action on the cards, Reid is eager to secure some budget for the months ahead and has pro-actively organised a fundraising evening at Dromore Rugby Club on Saturday, February 11.

"I'm hoping to secure some pretty lucrative auction items for the evening, and as well as having some fun and inviting friends, sponsors and family along we are aiming to raise some budget towards the cost of running our season," added the articulate County Down lad.

Reid's career is very much a work in progress right now, but one fans should keep a very close eye on.

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