Belfast Telegraph

Schoolboy Scott hot on heels of Superbike champ Jonathan Rea at just 12

By Paul Lindsay

Schoolboy Scott Swann is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Northern Ireland's newly crowned World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea -and he's only 12.

He may be young, but the Magheramorne lad - who competes with riders up to the age of 20 - will be joining the British Superbike paddock next season in the junior competition.

Like our new world champion, Scott has a top racing pedigree - dad Michael Swann is a multiple Irish Superbike champion.

Swann jnr, like Rea, honed his skills on two wheels in the Irish and Ulster motocross scene.

And while Ballyclare's Rea, now a world champ at 28, didn't make his tarmac debut until he was 16, Scott will be just 13 when he lines up in next season's KTM British Junior Cup.

Dad Michael can't believe how quickly it has happened for his sports-mad son, who was Rugby Player and Sports Person of the Year at Carrickfergus College last year.

Scott visited the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix where his dad leads newcomers around with friend and former racer Stephen Ferguson. "He was always asking myself and Fergie: 'When can I have a go on the circuits?' but knew he would have to wait until he was 12," said Michael.

"Ivan Kerr, whose son now races in British championship, offered to lend Scott an Aprilia 125 as we were still committed with our motocross racing. When I eventually let him race at Kirkistown on Easter Monday, I knew he would love it or hate it. "

When Scott stepped off the bike, he was so excited that he was speechless, said his father.

"Eventually, when the burst of adrenalin started to subside, he was able to get a few words out, and simply told me, 'This is what I want to do dad; this is what I want to do!' For something that started as a bit of craic, I now just want to give him the best opportunity possible. But we are going into this with an open mind," he said.

Scott said: "As long as I can remember there has been bikes and bike talk in our house and I got a PW50 (off-road bike) when I was four.

"I'd love to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Glenn Irwin and Johnny Rea, and my dad of course," he smiled. "I really love my racing and next year will be a big adventure for us all. I can't wait to ride the KTM on the British championship circuits."

Scott has generated quite a bit of publicity in local racing, and thanks to Carrick's Glenn Irwin - a front-runner in this season's British Supersport Championship - he has much-needed support for his KTM British Junior Cup campaign next season.

Team #109, part of the Sean Hurley Rider Development Fund, will provide Scott with a championship-prepared KTM RC390. The team is managed by Dave Hurley and Paul Tobin, with Irwin in a rider recruitment role.

Scott is now waiting on news from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup to find out whether he has made the opening selection of the contest in Spain later this year.

Belfast Telegraph


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