Tarran Mackenzie made a return to the podium for McAMS Yamaha to leave round five of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Knockhill with a smile on his face.
The 23-year-old took a strong second place in today’s second race to recover valuable championship points after his crash at Brands Hatch.
Starting third and eighth on the grid, hopes were high for the team ahead of today’s opening race. The track was wet when riders headed to the grid, but a quickly drying line led many riders, including Mackenzie and O’Halloran to set off on full slick tyres.
Mackenzie launched off the line to lead into turn one and maintained a steady lead in the opening stages. It appeared the youngster and FS3 Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan had the edge on those chasing and the duo began to form a gap. Buchan took the lead on lap 12, before a mistake from Mackenzie saw him crash out of second place at turn six on the following lap.
O’Halloran also enjoyed a strong start, moving up two places on the opening lap. Settling into fifth, things were looking good for the Aussie until he suffered from a technical issue and was forced to retire. Things would get worse, too, as after missing the black and orange flags requesting him to pull up at the side of the track, he was handed a six-place grid penalty for the second race meaning he’d have to start 21st.
Mackenzie again shot off the line to lead into turn one, but a charging Buchan barged his way past. Keen not to make a similar mistake to the first race, Mackenzie tried to settle into a rhythm. A mistake would see the Oxford Racing Ducati of Tommy Bridewell slip past, but not for long with Mackenzie moving past to look comfortable in third. With Buchan crashing out, he was then promoted to second and in the final stages of the race was closing the gap to race leader Scott Redding when the red flag came out following a technical issue for another rider.
Jason O’Halloran had made a strong start and was into the points in the early stages before smoke was spotted from his machine, bringing out the black and orange flags once again.
Matt Truelove enjoyed a career-best 16th place in the opening race after a solid ride despite opting for an intermediate front. The Lincolnshireman crashed out of the second race.
Mackenzie’s rostrum saw him recover important championship points, moving back into fourth in the title chase he now sits 48 points off the top and is third in the podium point standings.
There are now two weekends off before the series resumes for the sixth round at Snetterton on 19/20/21 July.
Race 1: DNF Race 2: 2nd Championship: 4th
“I’m leaving with a smile on my face, which is nice I was very annoyed with myself for crashing out of the first race. There was a backmarker in front of Danny and I tried to stick to the left as the inside of the track was so wet and I was on the dirty part of the track and it caught me out. Fortunately we made amends in race two. I put together a good pace towards the end of the race, Scott was probably a bit too far away but it got cut short anyway. It’s nice after what happened at Brands, I’m happy to finish second and come away with some solid points.”
Race 1: DNF Race 2: DNF Championship: 13th
“We worked hard this weekend and were fourth quickest overall after practice. Then the rain came for qualifying and I ended up eighth on the grid but I was feeling good for race day. Conditions were really hard in race one with a narrow dry line. I was up to fifth when I unfortunately had to retire with a technical problem. I was given a penalty for race two and ended up 21st on the grid, but I made my way into the group fighting for the top ten before unfortunately having to retire again with a technical problem. Snetterton is up next, somewhere I love racing so I’m looking forward to that already.”
Race 1: 16th Race 2: DNF Championship: 26th
“It’s been a challenging weekend with the conditions. I was happy heading into the races as we had knocked a chunk off our time in each session. In race one, we perhaps made the wrong choice to go with the inter front but the dry line was so narrow at the start. I was happy to fight through to 16th and take my best ever superbike result.”
“It was great to see Taz back on the podium. We know what he’s capable of and we saw that today. It’s a shame he crashed in race one, but he made up for it in the second race. Obviously there was an issue for Jason which is a shame as he had been riding well all weekend. We seem to have some kind of oil vacuum issue when on partial throttle, which is strange. The engine was still running fine when Jason got back to the garage, but we changed it as a precaution and suffered the same issue again in race two so it’s something we’ll need to look in to.”