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"Suzuka 8 Hours chance shows hard work - and a bit of luck - pays off" - Tarran Mackenzie

Gold & Goose
Tarran Mackenzie, MIE Racing, Honda CBR600RR, 2023 WorldSSP, Phillip Island, portrait [credit - Gold & Goose]

Having started the week basking in the glow of scoring a surprise maiden WorldSSP victory in the Czech Republic, Tarran Mackenzie will end it on an even bigger high as he prepares to make an unexpected debut in the Suzuka 8 Hours.

Prior to Round 8 of the 2023 WorldSSP Championship at Most, Mackenzie was in the midst of a chastening season with the MIE Racing team, a campaign hindered by his lacklustre and underpowered Honda CBR600RR machinery before his win last weekend unexpectedly turned his fortunes around.

Now, hot on the heels of his Czech success, Mackenzie has headed straight to Japan after being called up to compete in the 2023 Suzuka 8 Hours with Endurance World Champions F.C.C. TSR Honda.


Deputising for the injured Josh Hook, though Mackenzie was originally nominated as a reserve for the team, a positive practice session has led to him being drafted into line-up.

“They were just expecting to have Mike and Alan to do four hours each, but they asked if I wanted to test yesterday to see how I went, now they’ve asked me to do the race,” Mackenzie told BSN

“I was prepared to ride but also prepared to have a holiday, but I’m all set to go. The bike is a bit different to the HRC bike, maybe a little more difficult to ride, but I have adapted to it. 

With the race also set to mark his first endurance race, though Mackenzie says there is pressure to avoid errors so as to preserve the team’s EWC title bid, he is confident he can get up to speed come Sunday’s main event.

“They have a championship to fight for, so it is important for them to get a good result, but it will be good experience for me. 

“We have practice and qualifying tomorrow, so with a bit more time I think I can be quite competitive. 

“The race will be a different experience, I’ve done four race runs during testing so I have experience of tyre wear and fatigue, though in a race it’s a different situation.”

With the race rounding off an unexpectedly momentous week for the 27-year old, Mackenzie says he is proud to have his hard graft reap rewards.

“I think it proves to me that hard work pays off, so I am really happy with myself and I am proud of myself, because it paid off - with a bit of luck, but you need that sometimes.”

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