East Antrim rider Andy Reid will ride for the FFX Yamaha squad in the 2014 Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship.
After completing the 2013 season in the Motostar Championship, claiming three victories from just six races, the 20-year-old cannot wait for the testing to start in Spain this week.
Before getting on his flight, Reid talked to the Times about the latest chapter in his racing career.
“Less than eight months ago I was sitting on the sofa at home watching the TV, with no idea if I would ever race again.
“I had broken my leg in an accident while testing a 600 superstock at Cartagena in March of 2012 and by the time it healed I had no ride as the team had folded.
“It was all doom and gloom when, out of the blue, in July 2013 Ryan Saxelby rang me and asked if I would like to race his 125 Honda. I couldn’t believe it. I immediately said yes and began the process of sorting a license, borrowing leathers and boots before getting on the plane to England. It was great fun just riding a bike again and each time I got on the Honda it just got better,” he recalled.
In the ultra-competitive Motostar Championship he immediately made everyone sit up and take notice. At Brands Hatch, despite running at the front, he failed to finish due to a mechanical problem. However, at the following round at Oulton Park he took the RS Racing Honda to an emphatic victory 20 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
Cadwell Park saw him finish second to Joe Francis by two-hundredths of a second, but was the first 125 home. Donington was next and unfortunately the bike packed in with a lap to go while he was leading the race. He should have won the Assen race but was disqualified after the organisers said he had collided with a Dutch rider on the last lap.
It was a decision he disagreed with but added: “Although I was black-flagged, it’s not every day you get 12 laps around a circuit like Assen in a brilliant battle for the lead. It will go down as one of my best racing memories”
He came home to Silverstone where he won before going to the final round of the series at Brands Hatch where, with Reid holding a while he held a three-second advantage, the race was red-flagged due the wet track. “Conditions were just as bad when they restarted the race but unfortunately I slid off at Graham Hill bend. Too much lean angle and not enough grip,” he laughed.
His 2013 season was enough to secure him the backing of the FFX Yamaha team where he will partner Ian Hutchinson, who will ride the team’s superbike.
Although Reid will ride the superstock machine, he is the stand-in rider for the superbike.
There is a good possibility he will line up at the Sunflower Trophy meeting later in the season, which will be the only time he will ride at home during 2014.
During testing in Spain he will work with Gary Ekerold, son of former world champion John, and the rest of the FFX team.
“I am looking forward to working with Gary and being part of this new team will help me take the next step in my career. I intend to have fun with the FFX Yamaha team and it’s a great opportunity for me to learn and develop as a rider. Every time I get on a bike I learn something new and I can’t wait to get going,” he said.