Tarran Mackenzie arrives at the Bennetts British Superbike Championship decider at Brands Hatch this weekend bidding for his first title in the Superbike class as he aims to replicate the success of his father Niall 25 years later.
Mackenzie has stormed the Showdown so far, claiming two wins, a further podium and only a single uncharacteristic DNF, and the McAMS Yamaha rider admits that he couldn’t be disappointed with how it unfolded at Donington, as his aim was to have the lead into the final round.
“I can’t be disappointed with what happened in the last race at Donington Park because the goal going into that weekend was to extend the championship lead,” said Mackenzie. “In the end, I only extended it by eight points after the last race, but I extended it, so I can’t really complain!
“I am going into the last round with a ten point advantage, which is an advantage which nobody else has got so I can’t be disappointed with how the last round went. I was pleased with the first race in the wet, that we got round and scored some valuable points, and then having that amazing race two was great and I extended the championship by a lot. It would have been nice to have carried that after the last race, but it wasn’t to be. But those ten points we have going into this weekend could be very valuable come Sunday night, so it was a successful weekend.”
Mackenzie rates the Grand Prix circuit amongst his favourites, but knows that he faces tough opposition in his quest to become Bennetts BSB champion.
“I love the Grand Prix circuit, no matter what bike I have ridden over the years, especially in Superbike with the McAMS Yamaha,” said Mackenzie.
“It is always exciting going there and forgetting about everything else, it is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar and we have had success there in the past so I am just taking all the positives into the last round. It is close; the Ducati has been strong there with Bridewell and Iddon and Brookes too last year, and I have a strong teammate in Jason so it is pretty even and nobody has a real advantage bike or track wise – that makes it even more exciting really!”
Three races this weekend will decide the title, with the top four in the standings the closest they have been going into a season finale since the Showdown was introduced in 2010. Mackenzie though is ready for the final fight as he aims to add to his British Supersport title.
“I am not changing my approach for the final round as it has worked the last few rounds, so I feel quite chilled out,” reflected Mackenzie. “I like to think I don’t really get flustered about things, when I had the problem at Donington I came back to the garage and I think everyone thought I might flip my lid, but I was calm as you can’t do anything about it and it is in the past. I can’t change it, so there is no point in getting worried about it, but I think having a points advantage, as you can see from all of this season, anything can happen.
“I need to do the first race, see where I am at within the championship and play it how we need to on Sunday. I might be in a better position or I might be in a worse position, so I just need to make sure I do my normal weekend and races, and then there is no change for me. If I do need to play it differently for any other reason on Sunday then great. Maths is not my strong point, so I need to take my normal approach! I am just excited about Brands Hatch, I am not nervous, just excited to get going!
“This weekend means a lot to everyone and I have always had really good people around me and they know the score. There is no hyping me up, they are all level-headed and we try and separate the emotion from it before the race and then afterwards if we want to get emotional for whatever reason then we can! Everyone in my corner knows the drill and I have some great people around me and going into this last round I have spoken to them all, we need to stick to the plan and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”