#14 Cormac Buchanan

"I was planning on having a career in speedway until I went to Phillip Island to watch the MotoGP in 2016 and I was blown away"

Cormac Buchanan

Rider bio

"Mum reckons I definitely get my speed genes from dad. She's not wrong! He's always ridden motorbikes and was the 2009 New Zealand Long Track champion on his Honda CR500. I was three and helped clean his bike."

1_cormac_cleaning_his_dad_staceys_bike_at_the_nz_long_track_championship.jpg
Cleaning my dad Stacey's bike at the NZ Long Track Championship

"When I got older, he used to take me on the back of his Kawasaki ZX14 for rides. He reckons the bike felt unsettled the first time and then realised it was because every time we went around a corner, I was hanging off trying to get the knee down! I would have been about 8."

1_2012_burt_munro_challenge_with_kiwi_motocross_legand_josh_coppins_who_is_now_my_yamaha_racing_team_boss.jpg
2012 Burt Munro Challenge with kiwi motocross legand Josh Coppins, who is now my Yamaha Racing Team boss

"I remember unwrapping my first motorbike - a QR50 - for Christmas when I was four. It's embarrassing to admit but when Dad started it up I burst into tears and ran away because I didn't like the noise! I must have got over that pretty quickly though."

2_cormacs_first_bike_-_qr50.jpg

My first bike - QR50

"I used to race around the motocross track at home and then tried speedway and loved it."

2_speedway_action_0.jpg
My early speedway days

"I was planning on having a career in speedway until I went to Phillip Island to watch the MotoGP in 2016 and I was blown away. The speed, the power, the skill - I was hooked."


1_speedway_action_0_0.jpg
Speedway action

"I got my first road bike - a Honda Grom 125cc - for my 11th birthday in 2017. I wasn't old enough to race in New Zealand as you have to be 13 years old so I trained as much as I could and then went to Australia to race the Oceania Junior Cup in 2019 which was my first ever road race at Wakefield Park in New South Wales."

dad_and_i_ready_for_my_first_ride_on_the_track_at_teretonga_raceway.jpg
Dad and I ready for my first ride on the track at Teretonga Raceway

"My Dad is an engineer and my mum a journalist, my sister Mikah is 17 years old. They have always supported me 100 percent in what I do. Dad has always been on the spanners and Mum has helped as my media manager and also with my social media platforms and sponsorship."

1_the_buchanan_clan.jpg
The Buchanan Clan

"I'm lucky to have an awesome family of sponsors who have believed in me too."

"My Uncle Dion met a guy called Steve Bagshaw in 2018 and was telling him that his nephew wanted to be a MotoGP world champion. Turns out Steve was just the guy to help kickstart my goals and he has been my coach ever since and played a massive part in my development as a rider."

riding_the_pre-moto3_my_coach_built_-_the_im250.jpg
Riding the pre-Moto3 my coach Steve Bagshaw built - the IM250

"My best race would have to be race one of the 2020 Suzuki Series at Manfield. My Yamaha Racing Development teammate Harry Parker and I were 1-2 most the race until about lap 3 when the rest of the front group started passing and swapping positions. There was a big clash between three of the riders which luckily I was not involved in."

"I knew that it was time to bolt. I got up the inside of Harry on the brakes into the final corner and then started posting lap record laps to pull away and eventually win. I felt it was my best race because of the way I used my brain, executed my strategy and did not get caught in any drama. I felt I was in control of the race while I was leading and knew I had the speed to win."

sharing_a_win_with_dad.jpg
Sharing a win with dad

"Another favourite race was during the 2019 Oceania Junior Cup in Australia at the iconic Phillip Island circuit. It's fair to say qualifying was not flash and I found myself in P16 on the grid."

"While the front group established a solid break in the opening two laps, I set off on a solo mission and managed to bridge a gap of over 3 seconds on lap three to lead the race into lap four. Unfortunately a red flag incident on the final lap saw us awarded our lap five positions which left me 5th overall. I was stoked with securing the fastest lap time."

"In 2019 I learned to process mistakes better than ever. I had a few big crashes, including a couple while in the lead, which really reinforced that you never lose, you either win or you learn. Being able to identify what happened and process disappointment quickly is so important."

cormac_with_bob_robbins_and_his_britten_v1000_at_the_burt_munro_challenge_in_2019.jpg

With Bob Robbins and his Britten V1000 at the Burt Munro Challenge in 2019

"I found that I coped with pressure well too. Riding in the factory development team, you know you always have a target on your back and over time I have learned to use that as motivation."

1_track_walk_at_rookies_cup_trials_in_spain_2019_0.jpg
Taking a look at the Guadix circuit in Spain - Rookies Cup Selection Event 2019

"I really like slow tight corners where drive matters but also love the corners that are fast and full tuck! Tracks which are fast and flowing are my favourite where you really feel a synergy between the bike and the tarmac. I'm excited to experience some of the best tracks in the world this season with the Rookies Cup."

"I love working with my team to find the right setup, making changes and trying new things with the suspension etc to get the most out of the machine. It's like putting all the puzzle pieces together."

first_race_on_the_300.jpg
First race on the 300

"My biggest goal for 2020 was to be more honest, give better feedback and not be scared to make changes and I feel I have improved a lot in that department. It takes teamwork to get results and when success comes, it's a moment shared together and that's such a wicked feeling."

"And let's face it, we wouldn't be racers if we weren't always striving for the thrill of victory. Nothing beats it."
"When I am not racing I like riding my dirt bike, mountain biking and playing MotoGP 20 on the PlayStation. I also love to cook for my family - my signature dish is spaghetti and meatballs."

"I really look up to Francesco Bagnaia. He scored a podium despite having a serious injury which shows his determination. And I feel like our riding styles are similar."

"In 2021 my goal for NZSBK is to win the championship so I can head overseas with plenty of momentum. To achieve that in my debut year on a 300 would be unreal."

"In terms of racing internationally, it will be a massive learning curve adjusting to a new bike and new tracks but I'm pumped for the challenges ahead and can't wait to get over to the UK and Europe."

"For the Rookies Cup I would be stoked to finish in the points and that's a definite goal. Ultimately I am focused on improving my riding this season, honing my skills on a Moto 3 bike and gaining invaluable experience in such an incredible and competitive environment."

"If I can achieve my aim of earning a spot in Rookies Cup 2022, I will be determined to be at the front end of the racing."

My ultimate goal is to be the first New Zealand rider to be MotoGP World Champion. The last time a kiwi placed in the top three in the championship was in 1982 with Graeme Crosby finishing second in the 500cc World Championship on a Yamaha. There is a proud history of NZ riders - from Burt Munro and Kim Newcombe to Simon Crafar and Aaron Slight - who have shone on the world stage. I want to be the next."

my_best_bud_-_ollie.jpg

My best bud - Ollie

"People might wonder what the words ¨Tu Meke¨ mean on my helmet. It's a Maori phrase which translates to ¨too much¨ and is used when something is awesome or to show respect for someone's actions. When I do something well on the track or win a race, my coach always greets me with a ¨Tu Meke bro!¨ so that's what I'm always aiming for!"