Tarran Mackenzie clinched this year’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship in perfect style at Brands Hatch at the weekend, the McAMS Yamaha taking a faultless hat-trick to follow in the footsteps of father Niall who won the title in 1996-98.
Despite coming into the Showdown 30 points adrift of teammate Jason O’Halloran, the 25-year old was in the ascendancy in the final three rounds right from the off at Oulton Park. Strong favourite coming into the weekend at Brands, Mackenzie delivered three of, arguably, his best ever rides and certainly his strongest ever BSB weekend.
The final round got off to a steady start for Mackenzie with the sixth fastest time in free practice but third in a damp qualifying session gave him an all-important front row start. A narrow victory over Tommy Bridewell, his closest rival all weekend, in Saturday’s first race took him one step closer to the crown.
“I didn’t have the strongest day on Friday so to do consistent 1’25 lap times in Saturday’s race without much practice was great. We left the bike very similar to how it was at the first Brands in July and although the pace was faster in the colder conditions, I felt strong and set my fastest lap of the race on the last lap which was great.
“The championship wasn’t done on Saturday but we put ourselves in a better position.”
With good, dry conditions for both races on Sunday, Bridewell made Mackenzie work as hard as he’d worked at any other time in the year but, again, his race craft was perfect, an area that’s improved considerably in 2021.
The duo were almost immediately running in first and second and it was clear their pace was slightly better than the rest of the field but Mackenzie shadowed Bridewell for much of the way before making his move in the final third.
Bridewell, naturally, fought back each time, and going into the last lap each time the result could have gone either way. But with his confidence sky high Mackenzie was determined to take the title in the best possible way and held off the stiff challenge of his Ducati rival.
“I was in two minds what to do in Sunday’s first race but when Tommy was leading, I knew he was using his tyre a bit more and I was happy to bide my time. There were a few drops of rain so I wanted to get into the lead and although I had a moment at Stirlings, I managed to get by and get the job done there and then, which was what I wanted to do.
“I didn’t prepare much for the last race and never even managed to change out of my leathers but gave it 110% again. I had a few moments again at Stirlings but to win three races at Brands felt unreal as I think I’ve been in the barrier at every corner around the place!
“It was nice to end the year with 10 victories, a nice round number! It’s been an amazing weekend and an incredible season for everyone involved and I can’t thank the McAMS Yamaha team enough.”