TT2006 ENDS ON TERRIFIC HIGH FOR UEL DUNCAN RACING

Australian ace Cameron Donald ensured the 2006 Isle of Man TT Races ended on a high note for the Uel Duncan Racing team when he finished in a sensational second place in the final event of the week, the Senior TT. The 27-year old also put in a lap of 128.445mph to become the third fastest rider ever to have lapped the Mountain Circuit, a staggering performance in what was only his second appearance at the world famous venue. It completed an excellent week for Donald who also finished in the top five in the Superbike and Supersport races. It was a tougher fortnight for the other member of the team, Les Shand, as he fought back from a broken collarbone sustained at the North West 200, just two weeks before the TT. The world’s most difficult course is tough at the best of times never mind when injured but Les put in a professional performance over the two weeks and fiinished three of his races, picking up two bronze replicas along the way, ensuring further representation for Uel Duncan Racing.

TT Superbike – Saturday 3rd June (6 laps) The first race of the week saw Cameron out on the Robinson Concrete Honda Superbike whilst Les elected to ride his Barron Transport Superstock machine due to it being easier to manhandle compared to the Superbike. Cameron had a few dramas on the fast lap when he had problems with the fuel breather pipe and he ran on at Signpost Corner when fuel splashed up onto his visor. As a result he was down in 14th place at the completion of the first lap but a second lap of 126.044mph shot him up to 7th. Further progress was made over the next two laps and at two thirds distance he had moved into fifth, a position he maintained until the chequered flag, completing the race at an average speed of 121.881mph.

Meanwhile, after struggling throughout practice with his sore collarbone, Les realised any chance of top ten positions had disappeared and opted for a safe, steady race. 29th at the end of the first lap, consistent laps in excess of 117mph allowed Les to move up to 25th by the end of the race, winning himself another bronze replica.

TT Superstock – Monday 5th June (4 laps) The Honda machines were always going to be up against it in the 4-lap Superstock race and this was exactly what happened with the highest Honda, that of John McGuinness, only managing fifth place. Both Cameron and Les had troublefree rides with Cameron coming home in 13th place (av.speed
119.360mph) on the John Harris Motorcycles machine for another silver replica whilst Les took 24th (av.speed 115.873mph) for another bronze replica on the BTS Honda.

TT Junior Supersport – Wednesday 7th June (4 laps) After an initial two-hour delay, the sea mist cleared and the Island enjoyed a beautiful day of hot sunshine and whilst Cameron brought the Wilson & Craig Honda home in an excellent fifth place, Les was forced to retire the sister machine when it developed an oil leak on the opening lap. Eighth on the opening lap, Cameron put in three laps in excess of 120mph to move up to sixth after 150miles of racing but with runner-up Ian Hutchinson being disqualified due to a technical infringement, he was promoted up to fifth.

Les’ machine developed an oil leak on the first lap and although he nursed the bike back to the pits there was no chance of being able to continue and he retired from the race, the first time he had failed to finish a TT race since his debut in 2005.

TT Senior – Friday 9th June (6 laps)
The final race of the week would prove to be the fastest ever in the 99-year history of the Isle of Man TT races and whilst John McGuinness tore up the record books on his way to his 11th TT victory, Cameron made his own mark with a quite simply sensational second place. The pace was hot but the tough Aussie signalled his intentions on the opening lap when he lay in third place, just over 4 seconds adrift of McGuinness and only 0.28seconds behind former Uel Duncan star Guy Martin. In the hottest conditions of the week, Cameron was completely at home and as Martin fell back with an oil leak, Cameron upped his pace and with a stunning second lap of 128.445mph he took control of second. Having caught Ian Lougher on the road, he needed to keep Kiwi Bruce Anstey at bay and although the Superbike was reluctant to start after each pit stop he held sway and finished the six laps in a time of 1h48m04.45secs (av.speed 125.680mph) for a memorable second place, over 4 seconds clear of Anstey.

Les opted to ride Cameron’s 600cc Honda as the fortnight caught up with him and despite being incredibly stiff and sore, a legacy of the tortorous TT bumps, he completed the six laps to be the 5th 600cc machine to finish.
Although he had lapped just under 117mph, the nature of the race meant he just missed out on a bronze replica but was nevertheless pleased to complete the Senior TT.

Cameron Donald
“These have got to be the two toughest weeks of racing I’ve ever known what with setting up three machines and trying to learn the track more so to end up with 2nd in the Senior is unreal. When I came here, I was hoping to get 4-top ten finishes and lap at 125mph so to achieve what I have done has exceeded all of my expectations. I knew I had to blitz the first lap in the Senior to stand any chance and it worked out perfectly, putting me in with a great chance. Once I’d done this, I set about chasing down Ian Lougher and I ended up passing him three times due to the slow getaway from the pits each time! He’s not easy to pass as he uses all the course but we did it in the end and I’m stoked with how the whole week has gone. The result makes all the hard work worthwhile and I couldn’t have done it without the boys in the team – they all worked so hard and it’s great to reward them with 2nd.”

Les Shand
“It’s been an incredibly tough fortnight and, being totally honest, the TT came two weeks too early for me. I feel fresher now than what I have done since I arrived here so it’s been incredibly frustrating not being able to put in the performances I know I’m capable of. I was hoping to come here and finish in the top ten and lap close to the 125mph mark but it just wasn’t to be. Every lap was a challenge and during practice week I don’t think I’ve ever ached so much – because of the collarbone I was using other parts of my body more to control the bike and by the end of the week, they were beginning to wear out as well!. Like I say, it’s been very tough so I used the two weeks as another learning year and as I’ve got in plenty of laps, my knowledge has increased further, which can only stand me in good stead for TT2007. I got kind of stuck around the 117-118mph mark but I managed to finish three of the races so thanks to everyone in the team for working so hard since we’ve been here – I’m looking forward to a good rest now!”

Uel Duncan
“Practice week was incredibly fraught as we were flat out getting organised after the crashes at the North West. Both riders arrived here injured but they both improved as the days went by although Les ran out of time a little bit. If Cameron had got top ten finishes in all of his races, I’d have been happy but when he did 126mph in the Superbike he just went from strength to strength. After the Superstock race I knew his two best races were still to come, especially the 600cc race. Chris Mehew pulled out all the stops and was always available to give advice on the Superbike and for Cam to get 2nd and be the third fastest rider ever is just unbelievable and it’s going to take a while to sink in.”

“Les gave a good account of himself in all of his races and for him to get the results that he did is very commendable given the conditions and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see the best of him this week. He worked hard all week though and was the consumate professional so I’m glad both riders are home in one piece. I’ve got to say a big thank you to all of our sponsores because without them it just wouldn’t have happened. Paul Phillips and Milky Quayle also deserve praise for all their work and to sum up, it’s been a fantastic TT.”

 

 

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