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Buchanan had a mixed weekend as he finally got his second season in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup under way at the weekend.
Having missed the first round in Portugal due to Covid, the 15-year-old finished 12th and 20th in races at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.
“It’s certainly been a weekend of highs and lows," Buchanan told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.
“I didn’t really know what impact Covid had had physically until I got back on the bike but unfortunately soon discovered the term ‘Covid brain fog’.
"I had some real challenges with concentration and struggled to regain the momentum we had at testing in Portugal."
Buchanan started with a bang, finishing in the points in race one after qualifying 18th.
“Race one was epic with some really intense battles," he said.
"I made some aggressive moves in the later stages to cement my first Rookies Cup championship points, finishing P12 and getting a new PB for Jerez with 1min 51.1sec.
"It felt unreal to finally achieve that goal."
Temperatures had soared to 30degC-plus by the time of the second race.
Buchanan said he struggled to find cohesion and was disappointed to drop to 20th.
"No excuses — my performance wasn’t good enough.
“It’s frustrating because I know I can be fighting further at the front of this field when I put all of the puzzle pieces together.
"But there are still some real positives to take away from my first race weekend of the year and we will continue to chase the highs."
It was a Spanish double with Jose Rueda winning the first race and Maximo Quiles the second.
The next round of the Rookies Cup is in Italy on May 28-29, but Buchanan is straight back on a bike this weekend.
He is heading back to Portugal for the opening round of the European Talent Cup and his debut with the AGR Racing Team.
"It’s an incredibly competitive championship and I’m excited to see what’s possible."
-- Hayden Meikle