Reid Battye will live out his dream of competing in the 600cc class of the Australian Super Bike (ASBK) Championship this year.
After an opportunity in Italy in 2018 that ended with a series of mechanical dramas, Reid has been signed by Suzuki Ecstar Australia on a two-year plan.
“Last year didn’t quite go to plan on his Italian adventure,” Suzuki Ecstar Australia team owner Dale Brede said, “so when he got home he rang me the next day looking for work.
“He’s a good kid with a great attitude and as a consequence of that it was easy for me to want to help him out.”
The team has since put Reid to work both in the workshop and their parts department, but Mr Brede said there was also discussions to try and run him in the 600-class.
“One thing led to another and Reid put together some good support from Suzuki and Link International and now we’re pretty excited.”
Reid had said he was thrilled to get the opportunity.
“It’s a pretty exciting year ahead moving up to the 600s,” Reid said.
It’s a big leap for the 2017 300cc supersport winner to the bigger bike and Mr Brede said the focus this year would be on learning.
“We want him to learn as much as he can and stay on the bike; because if you’re on your ass you’re not learning anything,” he said.
The ultra-competitive Reid didn’t pull any punches during the first ASBK trial at Phillip Island over the weekend, finishing fifth overall on his first real outing.
Reid said it was an awesome weekend at Phillip Island and he was feeling “better each lap” on the bike.
“I’m getting more and more comfortable on the bike and now I can’t wait for the first round in a few weeks,” Reid said.
“It can be pretty daunting on a much bigger bike, but he handled himself really well,” Mr Brede said.
“I told him there is no pressure to worry about winning the races or a championship, we’re looking at this as more a two-year-plan for Reid.
“But based on how he's going he'll be very competitive and who knows he might sneak a win in before the end of the year.”
Mr Brede said he admired Reid as a singularly driven competitor.
“He told me yesterday all he thinks about is riding the bike – I told him to think about work first,” he said with a laugh.
Mr Brede said Reid’s number 33 bike was bare-bones for the trial, but would be finished in the Suzuki Ecstar livery in time for the Championship start in two weeks.
The first round will be at Phillip Island starting February 21.