Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider Cameron Donald demonstrated true grit and determination during yesterday’s Superbike TT, pulling himself onto the podium in third place after a first lap mistake that saw him down in 13th.
Donald made ground on his rivals into the opening pit stop at the end of lap two and 76 miles of racing, hauling himself into seventh position and from there he pulled his GSX-R1000 Superbike through the leaderboard.
By the time the Aussie had pitted at the end of lap 4, he was only 34 seconds off a podium finish, eventually overhauling fellow Suzuki rider Adrian Archibald for his first podium of the week, with a final flying lap of 129.536mph.
Cameron Donald says: "I made a small error coming into the Nook and lost a lot of time on the opening lap, but when I pitted the boys told me I was making it back up. After that I thought a top-five was possible but to get third is great.
This exact day twelve months ago I was sitting in Nobles Hospital, so to get back here and get back on the podium is pretty sweet. I just never gave up and that along with support of the team gave me this podium and a great start to TT week."
His teammate Bruce Anstey fought bravely throughout the 6-lap TT curtain raiser on his GSX-R1000 Superbike, finishing in 11th place after 226 miles of racing with an average speed of 123.337mph.
Bruce Anstey says: "I struggled a bit out there today and was off the pace early on, but I was able to get some valuable information on the Superbike which should help us now for Friday’s Senior TT. I’m now looking forward to Monday’s Supersport and Superstock races where I’ll expect to be closer to the front and challenging for the podium."
Philip Neill (Team Manager) says: "That’s what the TT is all about – perseverance. Cameron could easily have believed the race was over for him after the opening lap, but he chipped away and chipped away and we are delighted with his podium in this important year for Suzuki at the TT. Bruce had a few problems but also stayed out there, demonstrating the reliability of the GSX-R range and I’m sure he will be well to the fore in tomorrow’s ‘stock races."
Racing continues tomorrow with the opening 4-lap Supersport race at 10.45am, followed by the 4-lap Superstock TT at 2.15pm.
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The Relentless by TAS Suzuki squad are now fully focused on the job in hand at the 2010 Isle of Man TT Races, with both riders, Cameron Donald and Bruce Anstey, posting impressive times during the opening two practice sessions around the 37.73-mile public road circuit.
It’s an important year for the team, with Suzuki celebrating 50 years of racing and 25 years of its flagship GSX-R range at this year’s event. But already both antipodean employees are doing Suzuki proud – pushing themselves into the business end of the premier class leaderboard.
32-year-old Australian Cameron Donald is making a welcome return to the Isle of Man after missing out on last year’s race action due to a practice week crash, injuring his shoulder. The Melbourne native had the consolation of setting the first-ever 131mph lap around the TT Circuit just 12 months ago, and is already right on the pace in the Blue Riband Superbike class this year, posting the second fastest time on both nights.
During Monday night’s opening session for the 2010 event, Donald posted a lap speed of 127.274mph on his Relentless by TAS Suzuki Superbike, repeating that feat on Tuesday night on the same GSX-R1000 Superbike, with a lap speed of 127.212mph.
Cameron Donald says: "It’s always good to get back to the Isle of Man and more importantly to get those early laps done to re re-familiarise yourself with the circuit. We are heading the right way on the GSX-R1000 Superbike and I’m feeling fit, confident and happy to be back. I hope this weather holds and we can get all our bikes well prepared."
Kiwi Anstey, was also in the ‘super-quick club’, posting the sixth fastest time on Monday night with a lap speed of 126.020mph, and in less than perfect conditions on Tuesday night, he set the third quickest time [126.919mph] behind his Relentless by TAS Suzuki team-mate Donald.
Bruce Anstey says: "I always look forward to the TT. It’s my favourite race of the year and so far so good. The first two nights have helped me to get dialled in again and it’s all about getting the bikes set-up early to suit the circuit. If you can do that, the confidence builds and so do the lap speeds throughout the week."
Philip Neill (Team Manager) says: "We are very happy so far. It’s a big help to start the TT with none of those mechanical gremlins that can really plague you here on the Isle of Man. Every bike we have sent out so far has come back in one piece; that’s testament to our team and also to the Suzuki machinery.
"The Superbike class is our main priority but we will concentrate on the Superstock bikes tonight. The tried-and-tested Pirelli tyres we chose are doing the job perfectly and the K-Tech suspension is also working well, as you can see by the boys’ lap times.
"It was crucial to get Cam out there and back on the pace early this week and we’ve done that, and Bruce is unusually talkative – so we are a happy camp just now."