Buchanan shines for Altherm Yamaha Racing Development Team
Altherm JCR Yamaha Media Statement 6.03.23
Race weekends don’t come much better than this for young Altherm Yamaha Racing Development Team (YRDT) superstar Cormac Buchanan.
Title Caption (above) : Altherm Yamaha Road Racing Development Team (YRDT) rider Cormac Buchanan has already wrapped up the national Supersport 300 title.
At the New Zealand Superbike Championship’s (NZSBK) fifth round at Hampton Downs, the Invercargill rider started out by scoring pole and then going unbeaten in both the Supersport 300 and 600 classes. Adding to his achievements, Buchanan notched up the Supersport 300 lap record and went on to win the New Zealand Tourist Trophy Championship in both classes. Then he topped it all off by collecting the 2023 New Zealand Supersport 300 crown with a round to spare.
“It was the dream weekend for me. My goal was to do what we didn’t do at Teretonga and win all the races in both classes,” Buchanan says.
“I was really motivated for qualifying and put myself on pole in both classes, broke the lap record in the 300 and to actually win the 300 title a whole round early, I’m happy as that takes a bit of pressure off.”
Buchanan’s Supersport 300 title defence was faultless, as he has won every race and broken the lap record at every track this season. His class rivals get no reprieve though, as he wants to continue this unparalleled pattern of success at the NZSBK’s final round in Taupo next weekend.
He enjoyed the battles that thrilled the crowds throughout the three Supersport 600 class races and the fact that his main rival is also his YRDT teammate, does not diminish his fire to win, or his respect for Jake Lewis. They are separated by a single point, with Lewis holding the narrow lead.
“Me and Jake, we get along really well. He’s a really supportive teammate and he wants to see me succeed just as much as I want to see him succeed. It will be an interesting position when we are both fighting for the championship going into that last race in Taupo. I wouldn’t want to be fighting for the championship against anyone else,” Buchanan says.
Yamaha New Zealand Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins was on-hand at Hampton Downs and says it was phenomenal to witness Buchanan’s continued trajectory.
“Cormac is really showing his class and the reasons why he is doing well internationally. From a YRDT perspective we have a 1-2 with Jake and Cormac in the 600 class, which demonstrates the strength of the team. Steve Lloyd is doing a great job with those two guys and we have good support companies involved too.”
Rangiora-based Lewis summed up his weekend at Hampton Downs with one word: “Wow!”
“It was a crazy weekend with so many amazing battles and probably some of the best racing of the season.”
With only about 0.3secs separating the top four positions in qualifying, he knew it was going to be close and hectic racing.
The first two races followed a similar theme with Lewis and Rogan Chandler trading second and third places - sometimes multiple times each lap. They both resulted in a YRDT 1-2 with Buchanan on top of the podium and Lewis runner-up.
CAPTION : Altherm YRDT rider Jake Lewis (#29) leads the Superport 600 class heading into the final round.
In the third outing, which doubled as the New Zealand Tourist Trophy race, Lewis’ wife Avalon Biddle was in the mix as well and he finished just in front of her to claim third.
“Another podium for the year and second overall for the weekend. I want to say a big thank you to the team - they gave us a great bike,” Lewis says.
The Supersport 600 races at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo, will be an absolute showdown between Lewis, Buchanan and Chandler, with only 6 points separating the trio.
The Altherm Yamaha Road Racing Team’s Superbike rider Alastair Hoogenboezem continued his season of rollercoaster results over the Hampton Downs weekend.
Coppins explains: “To be honest, through no fault of Al’s, we’ve had a really tough Superbike series. Al has been giving 100% and so have all the staff. It’s just been some unfortunate things mostly out of our hands. We are happy with the performance of the crew and Al and we are still sitting second in the championship but a long way off the leader.”
“Unfortunately we had a mechanical failure in race two which is very rare. Al and Mitch Rees were a level above the rest and Al’s 2-DNF-2, to finish fourth overall, didn’t accurately reflect on his outright speed. We’ve got some meetings today to try and improve heading into the final round in Taupo this weekend,” Coppins says.
CAPTION : Altherm Yamaha Road Racing Team Rider Alastair Hoogenboezem #43 fought some close battles with Mitch Rees.
Hoogenboezem says the positive note of pipping Rees for pole was diminished by finishing second to him in race one.
“I was a little bit gutted when it's really only a two-horse race. However, we are continuing to develop the new bike to where we left off with the older model bike.”
“In race two I had a nice battle with Mitch but on the last lap we had a technical issue which was really disappointing for the team and we had to rule that Yamaha YZF-R1 bike out for the next race. It’s moments like these that you are glad you have a great team when you hit the lowest of the lows.
“They got the spare bike out and only had enough time to take a stab at the set up before we went out in the last race and gave Mitch a good run for his money and had some close racing with him. It was a really fun race and there’s a lot of respect between us, as we’re doing some close passes.”
Rees has already collected the Superbike championship title but Hoogenboezem will be fighting hard in Taupo to secure second.
“Big thanks to the team for another rollercoaster round but we achieved some really good results. Congratulations to Cormac for the 300 title and Jake for having some wicked races as well.”
Coppins says it was a great weekend to host many guests from Altherm and Yamaha along with some of the brand’s dealers.
“The Altherm Yamaha road racing teams really showcased how well they pull together through the thick and the thin. We are excited to see how the final round pans out in Taupo this weekend.
NZSBK Round Five Results:
1st Mitch Rees – 75
2nd Tony Rees – 45
3rd Zac Fuller – 42
4th Alastair Hoogenboezem (YZF-R1) – 41
1st Cormac Buchanan (YZF-R6) – 76
2nd Jake Lewis (YZF-R6) – 56
3rd Rogan Chandler – 52
1st Cormac Buchanan (YZF-R3) – 76
2nd Dennis Charlett (YZF-R3)– 45
3rd Jesse Stroud (YZF-R3) – 40
NZSBK Championship Standing (R2, R3, R4 & R5 Combined):
1st Mitch Rees – 280
2nd Alastair Hoogenboezem (YZF-R1) – 195
3rd Dave Sharp – 146
1st Jake Lewis (YZF-R6) – 193
2nd Cormac Buchanan (YZF-R6) – 192
3rd Rogan Chandler – 187
1st Cormac Buchanan (YZF-R3) – 304
2nd Jesse Stroud (YZF-R3) – 220
3rd Dennis Charlett (YZF-R3) – 171
PHOTOS: CREDITS ASP (Aaron Staples Photography)
2022/23 Altherm Yamaha Road Racing Team Rider Line-up:
Superbike - Alastair Hoogenboezem #43
Altherm Yamaha Road Racing Development Team Rider Line-up:
Supersport 600 - Jake Lewis #29 and Cormac Buchanan #14
Supersport 300 - Cormac Buchanan #28
2022/23 YRT & YRDT RACE SCHEDULE:
3rd & 4th December 2022
NZSBK Nationals – Round One (Road) *combined with Suzuki International Series
Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
10th & 11th December 2022
NZSBK Nationals – Round Two (Road) *combined with Suzuki International Series
Manfeild, Palmerston North
7th & 8th January 2023
NZSBK Nationals – Round Three (Road)
Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna
14th & 15th January 2023
NZSBK Nationals – Round Four (Road)
Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill
4th & 5th March 2023
NZSBK Nationals – Round Five (Road)
Hampton Downs, Waikato
11th & 12th March 2023
NZSBK Nationals – Round Six (Road)
Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
ALTHERM YAMAHA RACING TEAM (YRT) WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS:
Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha Motor NZ, Yamalube, GYTR, bLU cRU, YMF, YMI, Akrapovic, Pirelli, Race Supplies, GB Racing, JCR, Holland Collision Centre, Workshop Graphics & Sprint Filter.