JuniorGP podium finish for Buchanan

Southland motorcycle rider Cormac Buchanan celebrates finishing third in race two at the opening...
Southland motorcycle rider Cormac Buchanan celebrates finishing third in race two at the opening round of the JuniorGP World Championship in Misano, Italy. PHOTO: MANU TORMO
Cormac is hungry for more.

The rising Southland rider created history yesterday when he became the first New Zealander to reach the podium in the JuniorGP World Championship.

Buchanan, 17, finished third for his Spanish-based AGR Racing team in the second race of the opening round in Misano, Italy.

Southlanders are a stoic bunch but there was a lump in the young man’s throat when he clutched his trophy and watched his country’s flag fluttering in the breeze.

"I’ve never screamed so hard under my helmet before", Buchanan said

"I can jump pretty high in leathers as well — into the team’s arms, which was pretty fun.

"It’s always been my dream to be on one of those really high podiums, spraying the fizzy water, because we’re under-age, and I finally got to tick that one off the box today.

"It was a cool feeling to get my first world championship trophy. I have to make sure we get extra baggage for that one on the way home. That will cost Mum a fortune."

Buchanan has had immense support from his family in the four years he has been competing overseas.

Father Stacey was by his side for the first three years, and mother Kate is on deck for a second time this year.

"It was cool having Mum there.

"The team were obviously at the podium first but you could see Mum kind of working her way through everyone.

"It was a cool moment to share.

"I called Dad before. He’s over the moon. Of course he’ll be a bit disappointed not to be here, but he’s stoked for me.

"He’s been here with me the last three years so he knew what I was capable of."

The younger Buchanan spent three years in the Red Bull Rookies Cup before graduating to the JuniorGP.

His season got off to a rough start in Misano when he struck over-heating issues then had a crash in race one.

But it all came together in race two.

"I’ve always wondered if you need to do something special, but honestly it just happened.

"I found myself in the right place at the right time, making the key overtakes to get myself in the correct position, and I saw my opportunity and I took it."

Precocious Spanish rider Jesus Rios won both races on his debut.

The second round of the JuniorGP is in Portugal on May 5.