Reigning British Superbike Champion Tarran Mackenzie made an encouraging return to racing at Donington Park at the weekend with the McAMS Yamaha rider taking a best finish of sixth and scoring 21 points in total.
Injuries in pre-season whilst testing in both Spain and at Silverstone have resulted in a lengthy spell on the sidelines and although the three races on the hectic Donington National circuit presented their own problems, the 26-year was content with his weekend’s work, which started with tenth in race one.
“I had no expectations coming into this weekend so I didn’t know where I was going to be in terms of bike fitness,” he said. “To do my fastest ever lap around here in qualifying was great, it wasn’t really something I was expecting as I didn’t do too many laps in practice due to my ankle, whilst I was also struggling a bit with arm pump having not done much riding since Brands Hatch last October.
“At mid-race distance I was lapping at a decent pace and then from there on I tailed off the group a bit, but I was happy to be riding with the likes of Bridewell, Hicky and Iddon. I couldn’t quite challenge them and I’m struggling a bit as I can’t use my ankle or my foot properly which means I’m over-compensating with my arm which is causing the arm-pump.”
Mackenzie them improved to a fine sixth place in Sunday’s opening race which was six laps longer than Saturday’s and should, in theory, have presented more of a problem. He wasn’t quite able to sustain his pace in the final race of the weekend though as the efforts of the weekend began to take their toll.
“I was quite happy with tenth yesterday but being sixth in the second race was great. A couple of people fell off but I had a lot better pace and was riding with some good riders. The last race was a bit tricky though as I used everything I had in the second race.
“I had a good first few laps but I had nothing left after the safety car, so I wanted to get around and score some points and that’s what I did. I had nothing left, but to have a handful of points is something to build on so bring on Knockhill.”