News 1 Aug 2011

Donald and the Honda TT legends ruled out at the Suzuka 8 Hour

Road racing legend Cameron Donald and his fellow TT racing team mates have been prematurely forced out of the Suzuka 8 Hour due to mechanical issues.

Despite the team’s maiden outing at the race coming to an early end, the Honda TT Legends will leave the Japanese circuit with their heads held high.

Donald and his team mates John McGuinness and Keith Amor came to the notoriously tough event as rookie riders yet still qualified in the top 20 in a field of expert contenders. All three put in maximum effort to get to grips with the highly technical track and the challenging conditions in the team’s development year.

An issue with the endurance-specific pentagon rear wheel drive system forced the Honda TT Legends to retire after two and a half hours – a difficult decision made with the safety of the riders in mind.

McGuinness, Donald and Amor each did a stint on the bike in soaring temperatures of over 35 degrees, and while they are disappointed not to have finished, they can certainly be proud of what they have achieved.

“This was my first experience of racing world endurance and I got just over an hour out there on the bike. I can honestly say that I have never been that hot in my life,” said Donald.

“I was setting some really good lap times and feeling comfortable so it was a shame we had to pull out early. I’ve learnt a lot, the team has learnt a lot and we just have to come back stronger in Le Mans,” he added.

The team will now take just a week’s break before heading to its next road-racing event. The Ulster GP will take place from August 7-13 with John McGuinness and Keith Amor competing for the Honda TT Legends.

The 2011 Endurance World Championship will continue in September with the Le Mans 24-hour.