Motorcycle News (UK)

Taz stays put, for now…. T

Mackenzie will defend his BSB crown but that WSB dream is moving closer


arran Mackenzie has penned a new deal with MCAMS Yamaha and will defend his British Superbike crown next season. After clinching the title, it was unclear whether Mackenzie would stay in BSB or seal a dream move to the world championsh­ip. An offer was on table from Team Goeleven Ducati, however Mackenzie decided that this wasn’t the correct move to make. It was thought that Goeleven could switch to Yamaha, however this fell through, and they’ve also lost the majority of their support from the Ducati factory. Although tempted, Mackenzie didn’t want to walk away from a strong relationsh­ip with Yamaha for a ride which, to some degree, would have been a risk with limited potential and reward. “I’ve always told myself yearon-year that if I am going, I want to make sure that everything is right and that I’m not just going for the sake of it,” Mackenzie told MCN. “I need it to be proper. I felt that unless it was on a Yamaha, for me it wasn’t a proper situation for me to be in. When it moved from being a Yamaha to a Ducati, there were a few more question marks. If I’m going to go to WSB it has to be the right decision, right bike and right team.” But the WSB dream isn’t over. In fact, it may be just around the corner within the Yamaha family. Following a trip to Yamaha Europe HQ in Italy, MCAMS Yamaha have revealed

‘It has to be the right decision, bike and team’

that they intend on making three World Superbike wildcard appearance­s next year. MCN understand­s that Mackenzie will be handed a full-spec 2022 World Superbike YZF-R1, one that’s identical to new champion Toprak Razgatliog­lu’s machine, and given full support from the factory WSB squad. Mackenzie will have the same MCAMS Yamaha BSB crew around him in the garage for support. “I wanted something more than just doing BSB again, and I’ve made it no secret that I’ve wanted to go to WSB for a long time. I felt like this year I put everything together and felt I deserved to go but it was just case of bad timing. “I’d say it’s as close as it’s ever been. With the way things have worked out, it may be a better opportunit­y to go there in 2023 and have another year of experience under my belt. “Nothing is guaranteed and I’ve still got to perform in BSB, it’s not like I can just take the year off and just try and do well in these wildcards. It’s about the overall package.” MCAMS Yamaha boss Steve

Rogers confirmed to MCN that, as expected, Donington (July 15-17) will be one of the wildcards. Whilst other options are unconfirme­d, Assen (April 22-24) is likely to be at the top of the list given that Mackenzie has raced there before. Misano (June 10-12), Most (July 29-31) and Portimao October 7-9) are the other European rounds which don’t clash with BSB.

“There are no expectatio­ns from me or Yamaha. It’s not like if I finish in a certain position, I’m guaranteed a ride next year. It’s not like that. It’s about giving me an experience and for me to show what Tarran Mackenzie is like on a race weekend. It’s not necessaril­y about going there and trying to impress people, or putting pressure on me and the team. It’s about going and enjoying the experience and having a bit of fun.”

 ?? ?? Taz will be going all out to defend his BSB title
Taz will be going all out to defend his BSB title

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