Tarran Mackenzie admits he is steeling himself for a ‘tough’ initiation on the Honda CBR1000RR-R when he makes his full WorldSBK debut next season.
The 2021 British Superbike Champion will move up to the 1000cc class with MIE Racing following a season spent competing with the Czech-based outfit in WorldSSP.
The latest in an illustrious roll-call of BSB title-winners to step onto the international stage, Mackenzie will be one of four domestic champions lining up on the WorldSBK grid next season together with Brad Ray , Scott Redding  and Alex Lowes .
Mackenzie’s credentials notwithstanding, the Scot is nevertheless aware of the challenge that awaits him next season on a customer Honda package that has struggled relative to its Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki rivals, both in factory and satellite trim.
Indeed, with MIE Racing only cracking the points on a handful of occasions in 2023, Mackenzie is reluctant to make firm predictions of what to expect next season.
“The targets, I honestly don’t know, like I said it is going to be tough so I have got to maybe start with a points’ goal and then try and push on a little bit more,” he told Bikesportnews.
“More than anything, I’m happy just being back on a Superbike. The laps I did in Jerez were really enjoyable, feeling a bit more power and riding it a bit different.
“I have struggled to ride a 600 at points this year, riding it too much like a Superbike so it will be nice to go back into my normal style of riding and get back on a Superbike.”
It marks the belated realisation of Mackenzie’s ambitions to progress to WorldSBK after plans to join the grid in 2022 with Go Eleven were thwarted by the team’s decision to stick with Ducati machinery, rather than switch to Yamaha as planned.
While Mackenzie’s new deal won’t see him back on the Yamaha machinery he campaigned successfully in BSB for four seasons, he is at least hoping his experience of the R1 will assist with the Fireblade’s development.
“It’s hard to compare the R1 and CBR just with the electronics, they make a big difference, even the engine side it feels completely different.
“In BSB I could ride the R1 a lot like a 600 in many ways whereas I feel the CBR is sort of a stop-start riding style, so I need to adjust my riding style a little bit and figure out the best way to ride this bike.
“It has been no secret that obviously HRC and Petronas have struggled this year, so hopefully with this new bike we can bring something and maybe with my experience of riding the R1 and riding a Superbike it can bring something to it, we’ll see.”