Despite some hurdles being thrown at him during his 2020 BSB season so far, Silicone Engineering Racing’s Supersport 600 rider, Simon Reid, has managed to accumulate some good points, illustrating his naturally fast riding ability.
During the third round of the series at Silverstone recently, EBC-equipped Reid’s mixed luck continued, with mechanical gremlins stopping him from clinching his debutant first-place finish of the season following an incredible grid climb.
Simon recalls the weekend’s action in his own words below.
“Silverstone was a track that I was really looking forward to as we had an official test day there and I showed good pace, so I was excited to see what I could do.
“Silverstone National is a very short lap at just under a minute, this makes for really tight and close racing.
“The main issue we knew everyone would have was tyres. We had been given a new compulsory tyre to use which is different to what we normally use – this is because Silverstone is mostly made up of super-fast right hand corners which are very hard on the right side of the tyre; spinning and drifting the bike round these fast bends causes the tyre to overheat and shred up.”
“We worked hard at bike setup through free practice to try and find a place where we could maintain and preserve the tyre for longevity of the race.
“I ended the first free practice session in 5th place and the second in 7th, but we were quite happy with the tyre wear.”
“In qualifying, we knew that we could sacrifice setup for a shorter stint as you only have to set one fast lap. We had worked out the new rear tyre would be good for only seven laps, so I had to set my fastest time inside these seven laps or I may as well have pulled in. Another factor is ‘traffic’ – running into other riders that may be slower or already have set a time, this is a real problem on such a short lap, as it is very tricky to get clear road.
“Unfortunately, I fell victim to running into slower riders on these laps which then qualified me in 7th position. Only one tenth of a second covered the next six riders in front of me, so it was very close and I still knew I was in a good position for the race.”
“I got a good race start, making up two places into 5th position on lap 1. As the laps counted down, I made my way forward, reaching the front around lap 7. I led the race for the next laps, stretching a gap of 0.6 seconds until the safety car came out.
“Another rider had fallen and the safety car set the pace with no one allowed to pass until the fallen rider was clear and safe.
“After two or three laps behind the safety car and at the halfway point of the race, I knew once the car went in I had to get a good jump and it would be a fast stint to the finish. I got my head down and into a close battle with the 2nd and 3rd place riders. Setting the fastest pace at the end of the race, I knew I had more rear grip left.
“On the penultimate lap of the race, I crashed out of the lead. After looking at what happened closely we think the bike maybe hit a false neutral and then jumped back into gear, meaning the rear locked up and lost grip, throwing me from the bike. Unfortunately, after falling myself, the bike hit another rider causing them to go down too.
“This was so disappointing after leading for so much of the race. After performing 21 laps to crash with only one lap to go was a hard pill to swallow… I was so close.
“There are a lot more positives than negatives, though, and that’s what I have to focus on. Hopefully we can bring it together and finally get the win that we have been so close to during the next round!”