Buchanan returns to race on home turf

Southland’s Cormac Buchanan in action at Aragon during the FIM JuniorGP World Championship. PHOTO...
Southland’s Cormac Buchanan in action at Aragon during the FIM JuniorGP World Championship. PHOTO: RAFA MARRODAN, ONE PERCENT MAGAZINE
An intense year competing against the world’s best in Europe has prepared Southland motorcycle racer Cormac Buchanan for his next challenge.

The 17-year-old returned home from Spain two weeks ago and immediately switched his focus to the New Zealand Superbike Championship, which roars into action at Taupo Motorsport Park this weekend.

Reuniting with the Yamaha New Zealand racing team he has been part of since 2020, Buchanan will strive to defend the 600 SuperSport title.

"That number one on the front of the bike becomes a target everyone else is chasing, so I’m definitely expecting it to be a massive challenge.

"All I can control is my own preparation and I know I’ve done the hard yards.

"I’m excited to get back amongst the action on track against a really tough field of competitors and see what’s possible."

Buchanan impressed during the Southern Race Series at Teretonga late last month with an unbeaten performance in the 600 SuperSport ranks.

On the world stage, he has racked up a credible scoresheet this year in both the FIM JuniorGP World Championship and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup he contested.

"I can honestly say it’s been a fantastic year," Buchanan said.

"I’m really proud of the step I took as a rider this year as we continued to learn and progress on and off the track.

"To have the chance to hone my skills in such a professional and highly-competitive environment is unreal and it’s my job to soak up everything I’m taught and work hard to get the results we deserve."

He will return to Europe in March for a third campaign with leading Spanish team AGR, racing for a second season in the FIM JuniorGP World Championship.

"A summer of racing here in New Zealand is going to keep me race fit and my edge sharp so I can head back to Europe and get straight into action.

"We’ve earned our reputation as a top contender this year and now it’s time to really prove it.

"I want nothing more than to see that New Zealand flag hoisted above the podium and achieve our ultimate goal of being the next kiwi racer on a MotoGP grid."