In The Spotlight: John Reynolds
The Classic Bike Shows calendar gets underway early in 2015 with Newark Showground hosting the Carole Nash Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic on the weekend of January 3-4. One of the event’s main highlights is the attendance of triple British Superbike champ John Reynolds as special guest of honour. Malc Wheeler, editor of Classic Racer magazine and a former TT competitor, has profiled the man he describes as ‘one of the nicest guys in racing’:
Most people forget, or don’t know, that John started his hugely successful race career in vintage events on a Velocette prepared by his father. From that humble beginning, John got a break and, after capturing his first BSB title in 1992, domestic success led him into Grand Prix racing on Padgett’s Harris Yamaha where he took eight top 10 finishes over two seasons.
John then joined Revé Kawasaki in the World Superbikes for 1995, securing podiums at Brands Hatch and Assen on the way to a 10th place finish. He finished 12th overall in 1996. Although he never competed in a full season of international racing again, he maintained a strong record as an occasional rider and won the Brands Hatch race in 2000.
In 1997, John returned to Revé – which was now running Ducatis – for the reformed BSB series and found immediate success. He finished in the top five of the championship each year between 1997 and 2000 taking a total of 13 race wins.
The dominant riders at the start of the new century, together with John, were Neil Hodgson and Chris Walker. With the latter pair having moved on, the stage was set for John to duel with Steve Hislop and his second BSB championship was captured in 2001.
In 2002 he moved to Suzuki’s new 1000cc four-cylinder bike, taking a win and six further podiums en route to sixth place overall. 2003 saw John finish second in the title race, although he was the fastest competitor overall and then, after a run of 11 consecutive podiums, he was crowned champion for a third time in 2004.
John retired at the end of 2005 after a huge accident in the final round of the BSB season and retired shortly after. He has since retained his links with Suzuki and has a background role with the manufacturer’s MotoGP team.
*John will be interviewed on stage on both days of the January 3-4 event by compere Steve Plater. He will also be signing autographs and presenting awards. A one-day adult ticket for the show costs just £7 when bought in advance – a saving on more than 20% on the gate price. All the show details, including links to the ticket site, can be found at classicbikeshows.com or by calling 01507 529529.