Tarran Mackenzie is hoping he can play his part in helping the Petronas MIE Racing Honda team ascend the grid next season as he prepares for his long awaited graduation to WorldSBK in 2024.
The 2021 British Superbike Champion will progress to the 1000cc class next year following a season spent competing with the Czech-based team in WorldSSP.
A tough initiation in the intermediate category on the underpowered Honda CBR600RR, the Scot did however make headlines with his surprise victory in changeable conditions at the team’s home event in Most.
While success elsewhere was harder to come by, a strong showing on the Honda CBR1000RR-R in the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race with FCC TSR helped to set him on a path towards WorldSBK, where he will be joined by Malaysian racer Adam Norrodin in also making the step.
“I was pretty confident it was a 1+1 or two year deal depending on what I wanted to do, if I wanted to stay in Supersport or go to Superbikes, it was kind of my decision,” he told Bikesportnews.
“But Suzuka confirmed to me that I wanted to ride a Superbike again, I enjoyed it more than the Supersport. With the results not really coming in Supersport, it was nice we had that in the locker or worry about what else was happening.”
Becoming the fifth British rider to secure a spot on the 2024 WorldSBK grid - where he will join Sam Lowes in making his full-time debut - while Mackenzie is aware of the task at hand in the satellite Honda squad, he says he’s ready to show what he can do on the world stage.
“It is going to be tough for sure, but I think next year it is probably going to be one of the most competitive WorldSBK seasons there has ever been. There are a lot of strong riders on competitive bikes, so hopefully Honda can bring something that will make a difference, then we can find a little more and be close to the factory bikes.
“For me, I’m motivated, first year as a full-time rider in Superbikes, so I want to try and do the best I can and work hard over this winter and come out as the best shape that Tarran Mackenzie can be and then the rest will take care of itself hopefully.”