Reid all about it, Andy is set to shine
Jordanstown's Andy Reid, currently challenging for this season's Pirelli National Superstock 600cc title, will make his full Superbike debut at this year's Sunflower Trophy Races on October 25 with the factory-backed Milwaukee Yamaha British Superbike team.
Reid was a double winner in the 125GP class at the Sunflower back in 2010 as an enthusiastic 16-year-old, but this year his goal will be to finish on the podium in the feature Sunflower Trophy Superbike class – competing against the likes of Mar-Train Racing's Alastair Seeley and possibly PBM Motorsport MotoGP ace Michael Laverty.
Reid, who was also on a Sunflower podium back in 2011 in the Supersport class, said of his fairytale opportunity: "It's a great opportunity and I'm really excited about it. When I first spoke to Shaun he asked me, 'well what bike do you want to ride'," said the former motocross star, explaining that Milwaukee Yamaha team owner Shaun Muir gave him both Supersport and Superbike options.
But with a deal already agreed to ride Yamaha's all-new R1 for Muir's SMR set-up in next season's National Superstock 1000cc class, Reid had only one class on his mind.
"I thought I might as well take the 'big red girl' out if I'm going to be riding the 1000cc bike next season. I've had wins in the 125 class with the Aztec team and was on the Supersport podium with Gearlink Kawasaki in 2011, so this will be my first time back at the Sunflower since," enthused the talented tattoo artist.
Before the Sunflower, Speedy Reidy, who has adopted the moniker once reserved for double world champion Brian Reid, has the Pirelli National Superstock 600cc title to wrap up.
Despite five wins in the series with his FFX Yamaha team, 20-year-old Reid trails series leader and main championship adversary Kyle Ryde by three points. And with only two rounds remaining, at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, a thrilling climax is virtually guaranteed.
"I'm a bit anxious if I'm honest, but I feel I can get the upper hand in the last two races, although anything can happen at this stage," said Reid, whose mid-season blip afforded 17-year-old Ryde to steal in and top the table having scored points in all 10 races so far this year.
Planning ahead, Reid added: "I need a good race at Silverstone and try and leave less work to do at Brands Hatch," obviously aware that the two Brands Hatch rounds this season to date haven't quite delivered the results he has been looking for.
One massive positive for Reid this season has been working with double British champion and 12-time North West 200 winner Seeley. The Carrick man has given his neighbour an insight into the type of preparation needed to deliver a championship-winning season.
Paying tribute to Seeley, he said: "Working with Alastair has been very beneficial. It has helped me physically, but it's the small little things that he has passed on, in terms of mental strength and preparation that has been the most beneficial for me."
Should young Reid go on and win the Pirelli National Superstock 600cc Championship at Brands Hatch on October 19, his mentor will be delighted. Although there will be no favours shown and none asked when the pair lock horns at Bishopscourt during the Sunflower event on October 25.
If young Reid goes on to win both the aforementioned battles, then he would be a worthy candidate for this year's Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year crown, which Michael Dunlop already has one hand on following a prolific season between the hedges.