| 1.7°C Belfast

Neill yet to find a dull moment as testing hits full swing


 Tyco Suzuki boss Philip Neill

Tyco Suzuki boss Philip Neill

Tyco Suzuki boss Philip Neill

A birth, a marriage, an important birthday and employing Britain's sixth coolest male is part-and-parcel of running one of motorcycle racing's best known teams, explained Moneymore-based Tyco Suzuki team owner Philip Neill yesterday.

Neill's team are currently taking in their first official test of the season at Almeria in Spain, with international road racers, Guy Martin and his new team-mate for 2014, William Dunlop.

The team will then join a 'who's who' of top motorcycling talent at the Cartagena Pro test commencing next Wednesday in Spain, where former MotoGP star John Hopkins and Aussie Josh Waters will get their first taste of Tyco Suzuki machinery. But as Neill smiled through a tired looking eyes in the team's workshop on Monday, when he should have been off celebrating his 46th birthday, it's not all champagne and glory at this time of the year.

"We have been working our backsides off all winter; something we have to do every year and it's not glamorous," Neill (left) explained.

The sixth coolest man award went to none other than enigmatic Lincolnshire man Guy Martin, who completed 90 laps yesterday at Almeria on his NW200 and Isle of Man TT machinery.

New British Superbike recruit John Hopkins became a father recently; his BSB team-mate at Tyco Suzuki Josh Waters tied the knot in Oz and the team's British Supersport rider Taylor Mackenzie – who shares the same birthday as Neill – turned 21 on Monday.

Looking ahead to testing next week, Neill said openly: "It's fair to say the first few weeks of the 2014 season will feel a little different with changes to our rider line-up. But obviously there will be a settling in period."

Belfast Telegraph