Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport

Donald delays retirement with deal at Norton

By Paul Lindsay

Double TT winner and 10-time podium finisher Cameron Donald has shelved any plans of immediate retirement after agreeing an exciting three-year deal to ride for Norton Motorcycles at the Isle of Man TT.

The Australian will ride for the British manufacturer in both the Dainese Superbike and Pokerstars Senior TT Races this year, and will carry the number 19 plate made famous by the late great Steve Hislop — who took Norton’s last TT victory in the 1992 Senior.

Speaking from his home on the outskirts of Melbourne, the affable Aussie remarked: “When Norton began talking to me about their plans for TT2014 I knew it was an opportunity I didn't want to miss.

“With the enthusiasm and experience of the Norton team behind me and ex-TT winners such as Mick Grant and Steve Plater now involved in the project, this is sure tobe an exciting year.”

It will be a bitter blow for Londonderry businessman Wilson Craig, who virtually regarded Donald as ‘one of his own’, but as we have seen in many other sports, when the chequebook comes calling, all best-laid plans can be changed in a heartbeat.

Speaking of the iconic British marque, Donald added: “Norton is synonymous with the Isle of Man TT and I can't wait to ride the new SG3 round the Mountain Course and add to their Isle of Man history.”

Hailing from Warrandyte, near Melbourne, Donald won the TT Newcomers Trophy in 2005 and set the paddock alight a year later when he took a stunning second place in the Senior TT.

2008 saw him claim a Superbike-Superstock double victory for Relentless by TAS Suzuki before setting the first ever +131mph lap in practice for the 2009 meeting although a spill a day later ultimately put him out of the races.

Although he has yet to win another race, he now has an impressive tally of 10 podiums.

With a fastest lap of 130.729mph, Donald is also the eighth fastest rider ever to have lapped the course and showed his versatility with second in the inaugural Okells Brewery 350cc Classic TT Race last August.

Stuart Garner, CEO at Norton Motorcycles commented: “Cameron is a really great rider to have on board, not only as a racer but also as a brand ambassador for Norton. His support, feedback and endorsement will all be really important to us.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph