Otago Daily Times

South­land teen ‘shocked’ by opportunit­y

MO­TOR­CY­CLING

- STAFF REPORTER Sports · Motorcycle Racing · Motorsports · Southland Region · Southland, Texas · Joan Miró · Yamaha Motor · New Zealand · Racing de Santander · SuperSport United F.C. · Spain · Spain national football team · James Hargest

SOUTH­LAND teenager Cor­mac Buchanan is set to blaze a new trail for New Zealan­ders in Europe.

The 14­year­old has be­come the first New Zealan­der se­lected for the Rook­ies Cup.

He is one of nine new­com­ers from around the world in­vited the join the elite road mo­tor­bike rac­ing pro­gramme for next year.

The Rook­ies Cup is re­garded as the Road to Mo­toGP and has an im­pres­sive rep­u­ta­tion as a path­way into the sport’s top ech­e­lon.

Newly crowned Mo­toGP cham­pion Joan Mir came through the Rook­ies Cup and for­mer Rook­ies Cup riders have won seven world cham­pi­onships.

A to­tal of 26 riders from 16 coun­tries will con­test the event in Europe.

‘‘I was pretty shocked, to be hon­est,’’ Buchanan said.

‘‘It’s in­cred­i­bly hum­bling and a mas­sive opportunit­y for me as I pur­sue my goal of com­pet­ing on the world stage.’’

Buchanan, a year 9 James Hargest Col­lege pupil, who is on the Yamaha New Zealand Rac­ing De­vel­op­ment Team, won the 150 Su­perS­port title at this year’s New Zealand Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships.

He at­tended the Rook­ies Cup tri­als in Spain last year, earn­ing a spot in the fi­nals.

Covid­19 meant the nor­mal selec­tion event could not run this year, so the cup moved to an online selec­tion process.

‘‘I’ve worked re­ally hard since I got back from Spain and con­tin­ued to de­velop my riding.

‘‘To fi­nally achieve this goal feels sur­real.

‘‘When the news broke late last [Thurs­day] night, my coach Steve woke me up so it’s no won­der I thought I was dream­ing.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be un­real to ride in Europe and rep­re­sent New Zealand and I’m de­ter­mined to make the most of it.

‘‘Hope­fully, I will get to wear that sil­ver fern on my hel­met and I just want to do ev­ery­one proud.’’

He added he was aware of how tough it would be and he was up for the steep learn­ing curve.

 ?? PHOTO: MJSMYTH IM­AGES ?? Wheel up and away . . . South­land rider Cor­mac Buchanan cel­e­brated a tri­fecta of wins dur­ing the South­ern Race Se­ries at Tere­tonga Race­way in In­ver­cargill last week­end.
PHOTO: MJSMYTH IM­AGES Wheel up and away . . . South­land rider Cor­mac Buchanan cel­e­brated a tri­fecta of wins dur­ing the South­ern Race Se­ries at Tere­tonga Race­way in In­ver­cargill last week­end.

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