Supertwins: Tim and Tom Neave
Belstaff's continued support for motorsport continues with the brand's sponsorship of the Neave brothers, stars of British motorcycling. Richard Holt meets the twins to find out more
Lincolnshire race track Cadwell Park is legendary among motorsport fans for the challenges it throws at anyone brave enough to take it on. Set on one side of a steep valley, it is just over two miles of unforgiving twists, dips and cambers that require constant alertness. One corner, The Mountain, is particularly popular with bike racing fans because going over the peak at race speeds means that motorcycle and rider lose contact with the tarmac, flying gracefully through the air before landing – hopefully with equal grace.
Twin brothers Tom and Tim Neave are rising stars of British motorcycle racing. Last year, racing in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 – a support class for the British Superbike series – the brothers scored a family one-two at Cadwell Park. Tom got pole position, set a lap record and won the race, with Tim coming in right behind him. It was extra sweet for the 22-year-old Belstaff ambassadors because Cadwell Park is their home circuit.
'It just felt amazing to do it on our home turf,' said Tom. 'Cadwell is a really special track anyway, but because we are so proud to be from Lincolnshire it just made it all the more magic to be able to do it in front of the local bike fans.'
Riding so fast that you regularly fly through the air is understandably not without risk, and the brothers have had their fair share of spills. If Tom had followed doctors' advice he would never have been in that race at Cadwell Park, because he crashed and dislocated his shoulder just two weeks before and was told he should take at least six weeks off. But he wasn't going to be kept away, and with a little help from painkillers and adrenaline, he was able to get the victory.
Belstaff's decision to support the Neaves represents a return to the company's roots in the 1920s. 'Young guys on sports bikes isn't something we are particularly associated with now, says Belstaff's Daniel Bradley. 'But at Brooklands in the 1920s, we were making jackets for some of the true motorcycling pioneers. That's why we have chosen to support these young riders now. Back then, racing was at the beginning of its journey, just as the brothers are at the beginning of their journey now.'
This year the twins are moving up in class, Tom into the Pirelli National Superstock 1000, Tim into the into Premier 600 Class. They are tipped to be stars of the future, but for now they are amateur riders, still working on the family farm during the week. For the first time, they will be riding in separate classes – but at the same race meetings – which may be a good thing for their relationship.
'It has been great racing together,' said Tom. 'We have always pushed each other, but now that we are not going head-to-head hopefully we will be able to look out for each other a bit more. Very few amateurs go on to become full-time professionals, but with the support of Belstaff, it looks like everything is heading in the right direction for us.'