Hamish MacDonald races in enduro for the CH Racing Sherco Factory Racing team. The young New Zealander has already gone on to international acclaim, winning last year’s 125cc World Enduro Championship. The motorcycling champ added to his trophy collection earlier this year when he picked up the win of the four-round New Zealand Enduro Championship. Winning is in the family: his brother Angus won the national title in 2017, and his dad was a multiple enduro champion in the 1980s. We gave Hamish a call to find out more about his racing career.
How’s riding been going during lockdown? Were races stopped in New Zealand or could you continue?
Riding during lockdown hasn’t been so bad. I am lucky to live on 10 acres of land, so riding was still okay for me. It definitely got a bit boring riding in the same paddock for four weeks that’s for sure!
New Zealand has gone into lockdown again. Will this affect your racing for the rest of the year?
Yeah, I believe Auckland is in lockdown now so in the meantime I have flown back to Europe. I’m now in England. So I do not have to participate in any of New Zealand’s lockdowns.
How has social distancing affected racing or is there no noticeable difference?
Social distancing hasn’t affected racing, everybody just has to wear a mask, and obviously there are no spectators at the races, but other than that the racing is the same.
What did you do during any downtime you had from racing? Did you focus on developing the bike and your fitness?
Yeah, for sure. With the downtime I’ve had from racing this year I’ve just tried to keep fit and healthy, doing lots of cycling and gym work! That, and a fair bit of testing on the bike.
You were last year’s world enduro 125cc champ, and this year’s New Zealand champ. How did you feel about those achievements and what’s the next goal?
Being the 125 champion was awesome, but now it’s time to step it up and win again. It’s not going to be easy because everyone is riding fast at the moment. I know I’m quite capable of achieving another world title, so I just need to knuckle down and make it happen!
How did you get into competitive riding? When did you start riding a bike?
Racing is in the family! My dad won multiple New Zealand enduro championships in the 1980s. My brother Angus also won the national title in 2017. I got started in racing when I was 13 or 14 years old. I don’t really remember to be honest. It was on a KTM 85. One thing I do remember about that race was I ran out of gas 200 metres from the finish and didn’t know how close I was. So instead of pushing my bike to the finish, I sat down and waited for about two hours before the sweep riders came and got me [haha].
What’s your connection with Motul and how do you think its products benefit your riding?
My connection with Motul is through the CH Racing Sherco Factory Racing team. I haven’t been using the products long, but I am impressed, that’s for sure!
What’s the secret to going fast on an enduro bike?
I don’t have a secret. [Laughs]. I just turn the gas.