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that time of year again...
2012 is already upon us and I can't wait to get out and ride the
mountain course! Since my last update things have been busy to say
the least. Northwest 200 was the first International road race of
the year and all went well during the five day event. After mixed
weather conditions costing me valuable set up time I qualified for
all classes on the third row. This made getting clear of slower
riders and away with the leaders a challenge in each race but in
the end all worked out well.
tally for the week was 4th & 4th in the 600cc Supersport races,
3rd & 6th on the 1000cc Superstock bike and 3rd & DNF on
Overall I was happy with my results as I was
either on the podium or very near it in each of my races. Apart
from a very minor brake issue causing me to retire from the final
Superbike race the bikes ran well.
so many top riders crashing out during the event, doing their TT
preparations no good, I was happy to play it safe and take no
the Northwest it was straight on the boat to the Isle of Man to
have a few days rest before the TT kicks off. The weather has been
magic all week and it was a great chance to chill out and catch up
on the trials bikes last night with Juan Knight was a chance for me
to see parts of the Isle of Man I never knew existed. So many
hidden valleys with trails just perfect for dirt
now its down to business with TT practice starting Saturday
After a very successful start
to the Easter weekend the Wilson Craig Honda Team was straight from
Bishopscourt to the Kirkistown circuit and round two of the Irish
Again the weather was cold with
dark clouds never far away as I took to the track for qualifying,
ending up with pole position in both 600cc Supersport and 1000cc
Considering the extremely cold
track temperatures my lap times were very encouraging and we
continued to improve the bikes set up.
I had two starts in each class
during the long afternoon and we again took a clean sweep with four
from four. This may sounds like it was all a little easy but rest
assure there was no time for taking it easy with the weather
constantly changing. We had to race in dry, wet and mixed track
conditions but the team made the correct tire decisions to make the
most of each event.
Overall for an initial
shakedown the Easter weekend was a success as it showed what worked
and what needs work as we look towards the quickly approaching
With no time for rest Kaz and
myself were straight back to our apartment after racing to pack our
bags for round one of the World Endurance Championships the Bol Dor
24hr to be held on the Magny Cours circuit in France.
Arriving in Paris on Tuesday it
was in to the heart of the city for a function held by our friends
and sponsors Motul oils. This was also the unveiling of the new “TT
Legends” CRB1000 that I will race in the WEC series this
Wednesday and Thursday were on
track with practice to try some different settings and work on a
compromise with set up between the four riders. The team had John
McGuinness, Simon Andrews, Gary Johnson and myself on hand with the
fastest three going through to start the race.
At the end of timed qualifying
as a team we had qualified 11th and lower than we wanted to be but
in a race that lasts 24hrs where you start is not vitally
I was chosen to make the race
start and take to the track on Saturday afternoon for the “Le Mans”
style start. As the French flag was waved I ran across the wet
circuit to jump aboard the Fireblade and begin our first 24hr race
From 11th on the grid I
completed lap one in 4th place and was comfortable on the damp and
slippery Magny Cours track.
Settling into 5th place as the
track started to dry out and pitting after my hour long stint on
wet treaded tires that were now ripped to shreds from the drying
From there we held fifth place
until well into Sunday when some small issues costing us a couple
of unscheduled pit stops that dropped us into 6th. I took to the
track on Sunday around noon with just a few hours to go and got my
head down to try and close the growing gap to 5th place. All was
going well and at times I was fastest on track in the wet
conditions as the gap decreased.
Unfortunately I then hit a
slippery patch of wet track as I began braking at the end of the
ultra fast back straight and found myself on my ear… Jumping off
the bike at near 200kph I slid a long way before coming to a stop
but thankfully I had got away with the skid unscathed.
Picking the bike up I could see
I would have to push it back, not much chance of riding it now that
the fuel tank was missing!
Making it back to the pits the
TT Legends team jumped into action and had the bike repaired and
back on track in around 20 minutes! Amazing job that kept us in our
on track position of 6th.
With around 40min left to go in
the race our team boss Russell left it up to John and myself on who
would ride to the flag. With both of us well and truly worn out
from racing the past 23hrs we flipped a coin to decide who would be
putting the leathers back on.
I won the toss but decided that
I would ride the last stint… Last year I had the opportunity to
both start and finish the Le Mans 24hr and now I can say I have
done the same at the Bol Dor 24hr as I rode the bike to the flag in
It was an epic race that was
ridden on a dry track a wet track and everything in-between but it
was always cold and with conditions as low as 4deg overnight it was
magic to get an early night in a warm motel bed on Sunday
Returning from France it was
over to the Isle of Man for the 2012 TT press launch and some PR
duties. This was a fun few days to catch up with riders and friends
that I had not seen since last year’s TT.
Now we have returned to our
base in Northern Ireland to have a few days rest to catch our
breath as the count down to the Northwest 200 begins.
racing year is well underway and after an enjoyable summer at home
in Australia my girlfriend Karen and myself have headed back to the
cool UK spring time. Leaving home a few weeks back we had a quick
stop in Singapore for a couple of nights to catch up with friends
and break up the long haul to the UK.
arriving it was straight to Honda UK to pick up a new Honda CRV to
get us about while here. I then left with the Honda TT Legends
world endurance team for the final world endurance test at Magny
Cours in France.
was great to be back on the all new 2012 Honda CBR1000 Fireblade
race bike with the TT Legends team. Testing went well and with day
two treating us to a warm 24deg it was perfect to record some
encouraging lap times.
time I see the Magny Cours circuit will be the week after Easter
when we return for round one of the World Endurance championship
the Bol Dor 24hr race.
After that it was straight back to Northern
Ireland and into our home away from home...this year we are treated
to a lovely apartment on the Northern Irish coastline. With the
Irish sea only meters from our front window its a perfect place to
rest up between races.
first run out on the Wilson Craig Hondas that I will race at this
years street races was a test day at the Kirkistown circuit. This
gave me a chance to work on a base setting for the CBR1000 and
CBR600 race bikes.
Easter Friday and Saturday was my first race
on the Wilson Craig bikes as the team entered the first round of
the Irish Supebike championship at the Bishopscourt
Using practice and qualifying to continue
developing the new bikes I was happy to secure pole position for
both Superbike and Supersport classes.
day and it was a dream run as I won four races from four starts
taking a clean sweep in both classes.
the outside our performance on track may have looked like we were
doing it easy but I was putting in 100% effort in all races. I need
to get as much set up time as possible with these bikes before we
race the first International street race the Northwest 200 in May
and we wont learn anything unless we are pushing the
up for me is round two of the Irish Superbike series at the
Kirkistown circuit on Easter Monday...
keep ya posted!
Since my last
update I have been to Japan for the Suzuka 8hr. It was an amazing
experience and the circuit would now be one of my favorites. The
layout has such a technical layout with both fast and slow turns it
was a challenge to learn. Qualifying went well but an issue with
the world endurance spec rear wheel changing system forced the team
into an early retirement. At least I got to qualified and also ride
a rotation in the race and record some solid and consistent lap
The Ulster GP
was the final street race in my Calendar and started well when I
qualified the 600 and Superbike on the front row. Come race day and
the weather was against us with rain starting and stopping all day.
This made for some very tricky tire choices and race strategies...
I played it safe and did not take any chances in the dodgy
conditions and ended the day with a podium in the Supersport class.
I recorded the second fastest lap for race day on the superbike but
things did not come together in the race for a podium finish. I was
happy to keep it safe and leave in one piece!
The next round
of the World Endurance Championship is the 24hr race at Le Mans on
the 24/25 September. Last week the TT legends team attended the
official 2 day test for the event giving me a chance to learn the
well and I was comfortable while lapping at race pace lap times so
I cant wait for my first 24hr race where I will partner John and
Keith on the TT legends Fireblade.
Before I head
to Le Mans it will be over to the Goodwood Revival event to race a
G50 Matchless at the iconic event. Everything at the 3 day event
has a pre 1966 theme... everything from the bikes and cars
competing to the riders and mechanics clothes! It should be a great
weekend of fun.
24hr... bring it on!
for not keeping my web site updated this year but I am now using my
Cameron Donald Racing Facebook page to post my regular
what have I been doing since my last update here...
years Isle of Man TT has been run and won...my best finish was 2nd
in the Superbike TT and I can't complain about that. Unfortunately
I had no mechanical luck this year and while leading both 600cc
Supersport races my engine expired...
After the TT it was over to England for the
famous "Goodwood Festival of Speed" to ride the hill climb and rub
shoulders with some of the big names of world motorsport. I have
never been big into meeting celebrates but it was rather cool to be
in the same paddock as Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Ken Block,
Dougie Lampkin etc etc...
Roland Sands that builds some of the worlds neatest custom Harley's
and had a good yarn about some bike building ideas... so plenty
more ideas of things to do when I get back home to
Raced at the Isle of Man's Southern 100 race
the other week and had a best finish of 3rd on the Superbike. Then
it was down to the Southern end of Ireland for the Kells
International street races.
was a great weekend and I walked away with two podiums and the win
in the Grand Final race on the Superbike. Kells is the circuit
often shown in pictures as it has the biggest jumps you would ever
find on bitumen. This year the event was run in the rain so it
added to the excitement!
week I am off to Japan to race with the Honda TT Legends world
endurance team in the Suzuka 8hr race.
has always been a dream of mine to race this event so I can't wait
to touch down to the heat of Japan as the UK summer this year has
not had much heat at all!
me luck and I will keep you posted!
International road racing year got underway at the Northwest 200
this week on the Northern Irish coastline course. Tuesday evening
was the first timed practice and I rode in all three classes. 600cc
Supersport, 1000cc Superstock and 1000cc Superbike.
the completion of practice I was 12th Superbike and 6th Superstock
and considering I was using the track time to try some different
bike settings I was happy. The Wilson Craig Racing CBR 600 was spot
on from lap one in the Supersport session and I was very happy to
top the time sheet and be fastest for the evening in that
Thursday was our second and final timed
practice sessions. This session we had over one hour on each bike
to finalize our race settings and secure our grid positions. I
chose not to run a softer qualifying tire on the Superstock bike to
test the endurance of the tire for a full race distance. My time
put me 8th overall in the class, farther back than I wanted but
with the times being very close it was ok.
Superbike was a very close at the top and
after running as high as 3rd was happy to end the session in 5th
spot on the grid with a good race set up.
After such an encouraging start on the 600 we
had a minor mechanical problem that stopped me out on the track
just two laps into that session. Fortunately my time from Tuesday
still found me 6th on the grid.
day Saturday and heavy rain was the outlook for our race day
one I was out on the 600 for the Supersport event...
After a poor start due to spinning up on the
line I entered turn one in last place! After a thrilling race and
for sure one of my most enjoyable racing in some time I took a
strong second place. After being at the back of the field to
actually lead the race many times and take a podium finish in such
poor conditions I had to be happy!
Check out the link to a clip of the
Sadly that was our one and only race of the
day due to a bomb threat causing the race paddock to be evacuated
for some time... I have never known of such a thing happening in
bike racing but these things can happen on this side of the
great shame to spoil a fantastic event with such
After that we took to the track again late in
the afternoon for the superbike race again in wet
After a steady start I was feeling good on my
CBR1000 when the red flags came out to stop the race due to a huge
oil spill from a blown up engine.
was sitting in third place at the time so it was a shame as another
podium finish was looking good.
spill was so bad that in wet conditions the road could not be
safely cleaned as the oil was spread for over a kilometer of track
and with the rain had spread over the whole track width.
overall a very tiring day but we showed that the new Wilson Craig
Honda team and Dunlop tire combination is working as I had
stop the Isle of Man TT just a week away !
Below is a clip of my 600cc race and also a
press clip from pre race week.
first street race of the season was at the Cookstown 100 National
road race last weekend. It's always a shock to the system to be
back racing on the narrow street circuits of the National races.
But that is why I was there to get back in the feel of riding
between the hedges! As qualifying is just 5 laps per class
there was no time to stop for set up changes so it was a case of
doing my best on a guessed setting. This worked ok and I secured
2nd on the grid with the 600 and 4th on the
one I was out on the Superbike and had a close battle with Ryan
Farquar for the lead, in the end I settled for a close second
two I was out on my super sweet CBR600 and after an unusually poor
start I worked my way up to second and again found myself dicing
for the lead with Ryan. I crossed the line in second place and had
to be happy with that. The 600 race was shortened by 4 laps due to
the event running behind schedule and I believe that with some
extra laps the result may have been different!
three and the open grand final as I took to the grid on my CBR1000
Superbike. Holding third for most of the race as I watched Michael
Dunlop and Ryan Farquar taking some huge risks as they battled for
the lead. At the time I thought I was best to sit back and try and
avoid the debris if they ended up coming together. With the
Northwest 200 approaching this month I decided to leave the big
risks to the other lads and back off for a safe finish. I backed
off a little to much and got nabbed for third. A fourth place was
ok as we left the Cooks town with all bikes in one piece and a lot
more information for our development of the new
now its some testing and then bring on the Northwest 200 and the
first International road race of 2011!
10 out of
G'day everybody and sorry I have not been
keeping my web site updated... Since arriving back in the UK I have
been on the move and my laptop has been down and out so I have not
been able to keep you informed of my progress so far!
Since arriving I have been over to France
testing the "TT Legends" world endurance bike at Magny Cours. Also
over to the Isle of Man for the TT press launch and the premier of
the new TT 3D movie "closer to the edge".
Round one of the World Endurance championship
kicked off at the Magny Cours circuit with the 24hr Bol'Dor race. I
was riding as a reserve rider for the new "TT Legends" team in case
there was any of the teams line up unable to make the start for the
24hr event. I set the 3rd fastest time in the reserve rider
practice and qualifying sessions but was not required for the race
so had the chance to enjoy the race as a spectator. With around
100,000 French fans making the most of the sunny weekend to watch
the race it was a fantastic atmosphere out amongst the spectators.
I walked a few laps of the track in the out field and enjoyed a
couple of sneaky pints of French beer to help me deal with the
frustration of not getting to race myself!! ha ha
its debut race the "TT Legends" team finished a very creditable 5th
place after the gruelling race.
Since then I have been back to Northern
Ireland and my first races with my new Wilson Craig Honda
Easter weekend held both round one and two of the Irish Superbike
Championship and I was entered to race in both the 600cc Supersport
and 1000cc Superbike classes.
Round one was held at the Bishopscourt circuit
and round two on the Kirkistown track. Both Circuits are fantastic
venues that I have raced on many times in the past few
was my first racewith Wilson Craig on the new Honda CBR 1000 and
CBR 600 and to say it went well would be an
started by setting pole position for both classes and went on to
record 6 wins from 6 starts over the two classes...
onto Kirksitown for round two and another two pole positions and 4
wins from 4 starts and also a new outright circuit lap record on
it was 10 from 10 and all going well...
big thank you to all involved in the weekend as it was our first
race and there was a lot of work to do with sorting out some base
settings for the bikes and all learning how to work with each
far so good and onto the "real roads" at the Cookstown 100 Street
race this weekend.
keep ya posted... until then... take it easy!
excited to have signed to race for Wilson Craig Racing in 2011.
Having ridden for Wilson in the past I know he always gives 100% in
the preparation of his bikes and equipment. Along with his
association with Parkalgar Honda I know that the bikes will be fast
and ready to take on the fierce competition we will be facing on
the roads next year.
Wilson runs a professional team and I see myself as a professional
rider so I am confident we both want the same thing from our racing
and I look forward to giving 100% effort in riding his bikes.
With the UK currently facing a cold winter I feel lucky to be at
home in Australia with good weather to train and prepare for my
return to the UK next year ready and rearing to go as soon as I
take to the track on my return.
the superbike for practice to begin and enjoying the
Out getting some practice on my GSXR1000 before
leaving oz... Pic by Alec Simpson
Cameron Donald wins his second
race at this years Isle Of Man TT races, the Scottish International
Superstock race. Riding his 2008 Suzuki GSXR1000 for Relentless
Suzuki he lead John McGuinness at the chequered flag by 15.07
seconds. In third place was Guy Martin.
WINS 2008 ISLE OF MAN TT SUPERBIKE RACE
Racing a 2008 Suzuki GSXR1000 for
TAS Suzuki, Cameron Donald has finished 1st place in the
opening race of the 2008 Isle of Man TT, the Dainese Superbike
Race. Following Cameron by just under 11 seconds was teammate Bruce
Anstey and in third place was Adrian Archibald.
2008 is Cameron's third year
racing at the Isle of Man TT, he finished 2nd place in the Senior
TT in 2006. Cameron missed last years centennial TT races due to
Stay tuned this week for more TT
Photo by Stephen Davidson, Pacemaker Press
After a strong
start to practice week the weather at the Isle Of Man stepped in
with cloud and rain causing us to miss both tuesday and
wednesday nights practice.
With the sun
returning for thursday we made the most of the conditions and
put in another two laps on the superbike and my first two laps out
on the GSXR600 supersport machine.
As we have lost
valuable on track set up time it is now a case of making some
educated guess work and settling on a race set up.
weather looking clear we should get another good run tonight before
the TT race week begins tomorrow.
Race one of the
five race schedule is the six lap Superbike race kicking off at
last years TT I could have done with the extra laps we missed in
practice this week but overall I am happy with all three bikes and
cant wait to get that first race done!
Bring It On
200 is now done and dusted and what a huge week it
positive two evenings of practice I was confident heading into
saturdays five races.
It turned into
an up and down day when sitting in a strong third position in the
first superbike race a small stone became jammed in the throttle
body to stick my throttle wide open on the entry to Metrapole
Then after a
thrilling superstock battle I led the race down the final section
of the coast road only to be passed into the final chicane having
to settle for third place.
In the Feature
race of the day on the superbike all was looking good as I sat back
while the riders ahead traded places and on the final lap I took
the lead and almost had it until Michael Rutter and Steve Plater
passed up the inside into the final chicane both running onto the
grass ! I passed Michael back to take second place !
So overall some
great results in the closest racing ever seen at the Northwest 200
and a perfect lead up to TT.
This week the
team is over the water to the Isle Of Man where practice for TT
2008 begins this saturday evening.
For Round One Of The British Superstock
After round one
of the 2008 British Superstock Championship at Brands Hatch was
postponed due to snow it was clear skies when the tittle finally
kicked off at Thruxton on the weekend.
In my first
race on the Relentless Suzuki GSXR1000 superstock bike I was
thrilled to take third place in round one of the tittle and setting
the fastest lap of the race in the process !
Check out the
2008 "results page" for the weekends report.