Tay­lor Macken­zie

Fast Bikes - - COLUMNIST -

Bruce has nagged me to write a col­umn for the mag ever since we spent five days in In­done­sia eat­ing rice, more rice, and yes, you guessed it, a bit of dog too. So what bet­ter time to start a col­umn than when laid up with a bro­ken foot and a gen­er­ous help­ing of whiplash. Nat­u­rally, I guess this piece should start with the first lap of the race that landed me here. Bri­tish Su­per­bike rac­ing is pretty tough at the minute; there’s 20 riders who are all more than ca­pa­ble of fin­ish­ing on the podium and the first lap is of­ten the most in­tense lap of the race as it can make or break your end re­sult.

First laps are pretty sim­i­lar to Mon­day morn­ing rush hour traf­fic, ex­cept you’re do­ing 180mph and you’re on fire, and every­one else is on fire, and the floor is on fire cause you’re rid­ing through hell on earth. On such an oc­ca­sion, I got caught up in a gag­gle of riders go­ing into the Mag­gots-Beck­etts bot­tle­neck at Sil­ver­stone and I was cat­a­pulted over the han­dle­bars at about 90mph. It’s been a while since I’ve had a ‘proper’ crash and, like child­birth (so I’m told), you for­get just how much it hurts un­til the next time you’ve got your legs in the air and you’re star­ing down at terra firma.

I landed head first and then flipped onto my foot that got trapped be­tween 180 ki­los of Su­per­bike and the floor which, un­sur­pris­ingly, snapped it in two. I lay in the med­i­cal cen­tre suck­ing the life out of the gas and air ma­chine, fol­lowed closely by four more riders on stretch­ers; it is easy to for­get some­times that this isn’t ten­nis. Four days later and I’m sat in a hyper­baric cham­ber in Le­ices­ter try­ing to speed up the heal­ing process so I can race in Assen in two weeks’ time. It’s a tall or­der, but I’m giv­ing it ev­ery­thing.

Deal­ing with the pain of in­juries has never both­ered me. Coming from a house­hold of bike rac­ers, it’s part of our yearly rou­tine; be­tween me and Taz (bet­ter look­ing younger brother, Moto2 rider and reign­ing Bri­tish Su­per­sport champ) we’ve al­ready had four vis­its to the hospi­tal this sea­son alone. There’s a se­vere lack of sym­pa­thy from my mum which is based around the fact that if you’re not able to make a cup of tea for your­self how are you sup­posed to race a 220bhp Su­per­bike the fol­low­ing week. Un­for­tu­nately for me it’s quite hard to ar­gue that one.

Up un­til that mo­ment I’d been hav­ing quite the month. I’d spent a week check­ing out the Suzuki Asian Chal­lenge in In­done­sia, which was un­ques­tion­ably some of the best rac­ing I’d seen in a long time. I came back from there to have an av­er­age race week­end at Cadwell Park and then I vis­ited the Bri­tish Grand Prix to watch my brother Taz do his thing.

Dis­ap­point­ingly, he crashed out which was a real shame as he’d been hav­ing a good week­end up un­til that point. Fol­low­ing the GP I spent the next five days at Sil­ver­stone on the launch of the new GSX-R 125. It was a whirl­wind month that was topped off by bag­ging one of my best qual­i­fy­ing performances of the year at Sil­ver­stone.

Mother Na­ture un­leashed its worst just be­fore race one, leav­ing half of the track wet and the other half dry. Every­one sat on the grid in two minds as to what to do. I opted for in­ter­me­di­ate tyres and fin­ished sev­enth over­all, I was chuffed with that. That left me in eighth po­si­tion on the grid for race two at which point it all went tits up. So from watch­ing the youth in Asia, to sit­ting in an oxy­gen tank, I’d say it’s been a pretty rounded month. Who knows what next month’s got on the cards. We’ll find out soon enough.

Tay­lor,be­fore he launched him­self­sky­wards.

Tay­lor’s get­tin­gusedto puttinghis feet up. Show­ingthe Mo­toGP boys who’sboss.

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