A flying visit to Kirkistown
Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing’s antipodean pairing of Bruce Anstey and Cameron Donald debuted their 2009 machinery at a private test session yesterday morning at the Kirkistown racetrack outside Kircubbin in County Down.
Donald, who only arrived in Northern Ireland from Melbourne, Australia on Friday, and Anstey, who will celebrate his 40th birthday tomorrow, jetted in from the Isle of Man where they had been assisting with the official launch of TT’09.
Neither rider has raced since last year’s November showpiece at the Macau GP in the Far East, but both riders quickly fell in love with their new 2009 machinery at the County Down venue.
“Where did all the good weather go!” commented Anstey.
“After Monday in the Isle of Man where the sun was splitting the stones it certainly was back to reality at Kirkistown with woolly hats and big coats back on.”
The man we all know as ‘Mister Superstock’ might not have enjoyed the spring nip in the air on the Ards Peninsula, but he did enjoy his first outing on the all-new K9 Suzukis.
“The Superbike was really nice and the power curve was very smooth.
“I also had some fun out on the circuit with Cameron on the Superstock machines,” added the London-based New Zealander.
Also on track, but not in Relentless Suzuki leathers, was former employee Michael Laverty.
The 2007 British Supersport champion who also rode for Relentless Suzuki in last year’s BSB series had been brought in to offer his expert advice on set-up, and spent the day working with not only Anstey and Donald, but also Ian Lowry and Atsushi Watanabe.
Laverty will soon head back to the States where he will continue his AMA campaign riding in selected meetings for New York based Celtic Racing but watch out for the Toomebridge man, who will possibly be making a cameo appearance or two for the Moneymore based Relentless Suzuki team later this season.
Having had to wait almost indefinitely on his working visa, Aussie Cameron Donald wasn’t letting the cool start to the day bother him at all, offering handshakes all round as he re-familiarised himself with the close knit Relentless Suzuki mechanics and team personnel.
Donald will begin his 2009 racing campaign on the May Day Bank Holiday at Oulton Park in Cheshire in the Superstock class alongside Omagh’s BJ Toal, before returning to the North West 200, which kicks off on Tuesday May 12th.
“It’s just great to be back in amongst all the boys,” said Donald.
“The trip to the Isle of Man got me really fired up for the season ahead.
“Bruce, Hector Neill and I got a superb ovation at the launch in the Villa Marina on Monday night, but now it’s back down to business.”