It may be only his second season in Europe, but the Christchurch youth has so far been unbeaten in the youth division of the FIM Enduro GP World Championships.
The then teenager was on debut in the youth class last year and immediately started tongues wagging when he finished no worse that sixth all last season and also celebrated two wins in Italy.
Macdonald ended the 2018 Youth Cup series a close runner-up overall, finishing behind Chile’s Ruy Barbosa and ahead of Britain’s Daniel Mundell, but so far this year the intrepid Kiwi has been unbeatable.
It goes without saying that this has certainly been an even more sensational set of performances this year from the just-turned 20-year-old Macdonald.
He took his Sherco SE-R 125 bike to win both days at the double-header 2019 series opener in Germany in March and then repeated the remarkable feat with back-to-back wins at the double-header weekend, rounds three and four of the series, in Portugal.
His four wins have put him 16 points clear of his nearest challenger, Italian Claudio Spanu, with another Italian, Matteo Pavoni, Spain’s Alejandro Navarro and Finnish rider Hugo Svard rounding out the top five.
Based in Birmingham in England, Macdonald is on the road again this coming weekend, tackling rounds five and six at Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a venue that he is familiar with, having raced there last season and finishing third overall on that occasion.
His mother, Coral Macdonald, speaking from Christchurch, said the terrain that Hamish is encountering is like nothing he’d ever faced in New Zealand.
“It is very rocky, the temperatures quite hot and there is no time for the body to rest between sections. It has been very physically draining for him, but he’s coping brilliantly.
“After Spain, he heads to Italy for rounds seven and eight, before the series takes its ‘summer break’. There are two rounds to follow in the Czech Republic (rounds nine and 10) and then France (for rounds 11 and 12).”
Hamish Macdonald’s father, Mark, a former New Zealand enduro champion, and Coral will both head to Europe to be on the sideline for the final four rounds.
The best eight rounds of the 12 are counted towards the world title, with riders to discard their four worst results, so anything can still happen, although this flying Kiwi is already well on the way towards swooping in on the ultimate prize.
Hamish Macdonald is supported by Sherco, Airoh Helmets, Progrip, Pod Active, Michelin tyres, Gaerne boots, Pure Sports Nutrition, Full Spectrum Group, Kenny Racing, Uswe Sports, Pro Touch Global, Motorcycling NZ and Inspire Foundation.
Photos courtesy Herve Pradal
© Words by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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