After a ten-month hiatus through injury, Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider Cameron Donald made a successful return to racing at Saturday’s Cookstown 100 – dispelling any doubt that the double TT winner would return to competitive racing.
With a brace of second places on his GSX–R1000 in the Superbike races and a steady fourth-placed finish in the Supersport race on his GSX–R600, Donald was more than happy with his first appearance back on the national scene in three years.
He said: “I’m very happy. Of course I never race to finish second, but we did say today was all about feeling our way back in and progressing with the Superbike; we have achieved both of those goals so I’m going home a happy man.
"The difference between national road racing and the international stuff is like chalk and cheese – it really shocked me in that first race.
“I have never been ultra-successful here at Cookstown with its stop/start nature, preferring the fast and flowing circuits, but I did take Ryan Farquhar all the way in that last Superbike race.
"He’s the man on form and I won’t take that away from him, but I sat back and watched for a few laps and did think I’d the measure of him.
"Unfortunately I made a small mistake coming onto the last lap and those 50 yards made the difference between winning and finishing second. It’s been a good day.”
Relentless by TAS team boss Philip Neill added: “I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I’m glad it’s over.
"I wasn’t fully confident it was the correct decision to race at Cookstown, especially being a last minute decision while the boys were in the middle of building bikes for the NW200 and TT, but it worked out fine.
"Cameron really got his head dialled back into racing here today and it was very pleasing to see how comfortable he looked on the bike.
“Fair play to Ryan Farquhar, he’s a tough man to beat on the national scene, but Cameron is more than happy with his return and we leant a lot more about our GSX–R1000 Superbike over the weekend.
"We also made positive progress with the very latest Pirelli tyres that we will be running at the TT and Cameron got a chance to try out the very latest range of KBC helmets that he will be wearing this season.”