Not many 11-year-olds are up for riding a road racing bike 130km/h on the back straight at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park.
Meet Reeve Lee, the Taupō Intermediate Year 7 student who likes to go fast. This weekend Reeve is an entrant in the New Zealand superbike series at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, a rare achievement for someone his age.
His father Andy Lee says Reeve has been around motorcycles his whole life and is a very experienced rider, having competed in motocross for the past two years. He took up road racing late last year.
"In November, a Suzuki GSX 150 came up for sale just up the road. Reeve's uncle, current New Zealand number two superbike champion, Scotty Moir, thought it might be a nice little bike to begin on to see if road racing could be of interest to Reeve," said Andy.
Permission was sought from Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park director Tony Walker and Reeve rode around the track with Scotty following behind.
"I've been riding with Uncle Scotty a few times, he teaches me the race lines and not to go over the bumps around turn six," says Reeve.
Riding track days and test days at the park has helped him become familiar with the course, riding with up to 20 others at a time. Andy says it's important for someone starting out to get used to riding alongside others and also for Reeve to get used to riding with adults.
"If anything, he was getting frustrated that he was faster than many of them on the corners, but then they screamed past him on the long straight as his gixxer [GSX bike] only goes up to 130km on the back straight," said Andy.
Andy says Tony has been extremely supportive, giving Reeve lots of track time opportunities and helping nurture Reeve's budding riding skills.
All the training paid off, with Motorcycling New Zealand recently giving Reeve permission to ride the last two rounds of the New Zealand super bike series in the gixxer class.
Special dispensation was given to Reeve to enter the series - other entrants are at least 14 years old.
"They required an outline of Reeve's experience, and we sent a video of him riding the gixxer on the track. They also required a mentoring plan from his Uncle Scotty, and spoke to a couple of people about his riding ability."
Unfortunately Reeve's first superbike series race was cancelled because Auckland was in Covid-19 alert level 3. The third and final round of the series will be held in Taupō at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park this weekend.
Being light for his age is a big advantage because his bike will go faster says Reeve, and he is not put off at the thought of racing against older competitors.
"Going 130km/h is fun as. I want to go 200km/h," says Reeve.
He says he thinks he will "go good" this weekend, and says he's just there to have fun.
If there was one thing he could wish, it would be that more kids his age would do the sport, because it is so enjoyable.
Andy says it would be great if people would come down and support Reeve and also Scotty, who is fifth overall in the points.
"It's an awesome fun-filled, action-packed day, with some real edge-of-your-seat racing."