Macken­zie lands Moto2 deal

Bri­tish Su­per­sport champ ready to take on the world when he makes Moto2 de­but this week

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­

Reign­ing Bri­tish Su­per­sport cham­pion Tar­ran Macken­zie will take on a new chal­lenge his week­end, when he steps up to the Moto2 world cham­pi­onship with the Kiefer Rac­ing team to re­place for­mer Moto3 world cham­pion Danny Kent.

The son of for­mer 500cc GP podium fin­isher Niall Macken­zie, Tar­ran has been com­pletely dom­i­nant in the 2017 Bri­tish Su­per­sport cham­pi­onship af­ter taking six wins from the open­ing six rounds and en­joy­ing nearly dou­ble the points tally of his clos­est ri­val David Alling­ham in the race to take a sec­ond cham­pi­onship.

But he’ll leave his cham­pi­onship cam­paign and the MCAMS Yamaha squad be­hind to in­stead make his Grand Prix rac­ing de­but with the Ger­man Kiefer squad and their new Suter bikes this week­end – a de­ci­sion he told MCN wasn’t easy to make.

“I was sit­ting watch­ing Ste­fan Kiefer get­ting in­ter­viewed by Hodgy about Danny leav­ing, and the next day I got a phone call to say my dad was meet­ing with them about the pos­si­bil­ity of rid­ing it! It all hap­pened so sud­denly, and I can’t re­ally be­lieve it yet!

“I just couldn’t turn down an op­por­tu­nity like this. It was hard mak­ing the phone calls to some of my friends

who are the su­per­sport team man­agers and spon­sors, but thank­fully they were all un­der­stand­ing.”

Yet, de­spite jumping in at the deep end of the cham­pi­onship on a brand new mo­tor­bike (in a deal bro­kered by his dad last week­end at the Span­ish Grand Prix), Macken­zie should be in safe hands with the world cham­pi­onship- win­ning Kiefer Rac­ing team.

The team is fi­nally start­ing to find their feet in re­cent rounds de­spite be­ing only one of two squads run­ning the new Suter chas­sis on the frame firm’s re­turn to the cham­pi­onship af­ter a two-year ab­sence. Macken­zie’s new team-mate Do­minique Aegerter ran in podium con­tention at Jerez – some­thing that gives him con­fi­dence.

“The only 600cc ma­chine I’ve rid­den be­fore is my Su­per­sport bike, and I can imag­ine that it feels a bit dif­fer­ent and that I’m go­ing in at the deep end. But I know that and I know I’ll be rid­ing around at the back for the first few rounds, which is OK, be­cause if that’s what I have to do that’s it.

“But Do­minique was on the front row at Jerez and has been in the top 10 of ev­ery race, so from what Danny said I think it was more a per­sonal prob­lem with the team and not the bike. Try­ing to re­place a world cham­pion is big boots to fill, but I guess that it’s good tim­ing that they needed a Brit in Moto2 and I was in good form in BSB!”

That should be aided by an in­flux of ex­tra cap­i­tal into the team, with series or­gan­is­ers Dorna be­lieved to be fi­nan­cially sup­port­ing Macken­zie’s move as they main­tain a Bri­tish pres­ence in the cham­pi­onship. Dorna have shown a big com­mit­ment to Bri­tish tal­ent in re­cent months with the launch of both John Mcphee’s Bri­tish Tal­ent Team and the up­com­ing Bri­tish Tal­ent Cup.

‘It all hap­pened a bit sud­denly but I couldn’t turn down the op­por­tu­nity’ TAR­RAN MACKEN­ZIE

No more su­per­sport for 21-year-old Tar­ran Macken­zie has ruled Bri­tish Su­per­sport but now he has his eyes on the world stage

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