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Mick Shanley is Tarran Mackenzie’s Crew Chief

Mick Shanley had been at the team for a while in the role of Technical Director, but will now combine that while working as a crew chief for the British rider.

There’s been a small staff shuffle at the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team for 2024, with Tarran Mackenzie getting a new crew chief for his debut MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season. The #95 will now work with Mick Shanley, who has been in the team for a small period of time, as he will take on two roles in the team as he continues his work as Technical Director while working alongside Mackenzie.

Day 1 of the Supported Test was Shanley’s first day working with Mackenzie at the track as his crew chief. Mackenzie finished the day in 22nd place, posting a best time of 1’43.154s. The day was spent getting mileage for the Stirling-born star as well as understanding working with Shanley directly, while it was the same for Shanley in his new role. Previously, Mackenzie’s crew chief had been Antonio Puchades.

Explaining the change and how he thinks it’ll benefit him, Mackenzie said: “I’ve had a change of crew chief, which has been a major step. Mick’s now the crew chief. It’s been a step for me, he’s English speaking and I’ve known him for a long time. He started on Thursday. That’s been a good thing. It was more a team decision I think, just something that suits me a little bit. Speaking the same language helps a lot, Mick’s got a lot of experience, comes from a similar background to me with BSB. I’ve known him a long time but also worked with him a bit last year in WorldSSP. It’s been a nice change.”

Shanley brings plenty of experience to Mackenzie’s box, having previously been a crew chief in WorldSBK for several teams and manufacturers. Some of the riders he’s worked with include Lucas Mahias and Loris Baz while he’s also worked at Shaun Muir Racing. He will continue in his role as Technical Director alongside his new job as Crew Chief, with Shanley seeing positives in working closely with Honda as well as Mackenzie.

Explaining his new dual role, Shanley said: “I’m kind of in a double role at the moment! We made some decisions in the team to try and help Tarran get a bit more comfortable. The communication style was probably a bit more difficult at the start of the season, and I won the job of moving in to help Tarran out and getting him to feel a bit more comfortable and confident. I’ve done 12 months out of it, with the overview, but it’s good to have the relationship with HRC and the rider as well; be a bit more in touch, closely, with what’s happening with the bike. I’m still Technical Director as the link to HRC, it keeps me hands on in all aspects! It’s busy, very busy, but I’m enjoying it. I think, obviously, we don’t want to upset things and to find a good level crew chief at this time of year is difficult. It’ll probably be me that’ll handle it for the rest of the season to keep continuity and a stable base and step by step, hopefully, keep growing the performance level.”

With Day 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Shanley’s first day in the role, Mackenzie explained how It was a positive opening day, saying: “It was good, probably the most productive and enjoyable day since I’ve ridden the Superbike. The bike is exactly the same as Phillip Island. I struggled a little bit there, just more so with track time than anything. I haven’t done a million miles around this track, so it was just about getting up to speed but yesterday was probably the most positive day and I was a lot closer to the guys in front. I was happy with that. Nothing new to try on Day 2, just different geometry settings and trying to make me more comfortable.”

Posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024 in News

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