Tarran Mackenzie is savouring his surprise maiden victory in the WorldSSP Championship after holding his nerve in tricky and changeable weather conditions at Most.
The Scot made hs full-time WorldSSP debut with MIE Racing this season but has struggled for form on the underpowered and ageing Honda CBR600RR in the dry.
However, having already shown this season how wet weather can create a leveller playing field following his run to the top five at Phillip Island, Mackenzie would once again prove himself to be a steady hand in the rain.
Starting down in 22nd for Sunday’s second race, Mackenzie maintained a cool head when a sudden shower triggered a flurry of riders diving for the pit-lane to swap to treaded rubber. Choosing to stay out on slicks in the hope of the rain stopping, Mackenzie was duly rewarded when the weather improved.
However, with his Honda’s lacklustre pace in the dry conditions threatening to swing the pendulum of momentum back in favour of his rivals, the pressure was on Mackenzie to get to the flag before being caught.
And so it proved, Mackenzie holding on to the flag to claim his first and MIE Racing’s first WorldSSP win.
“I’m so happy! Of course I didn’t expect all this. But I knew that, in a scenario like today’s, I would be ready to stick my neck out.
“I’d seen the SSP300 race yesterday where one of the riders opted not to pit and stay out, so I essentially did that, and it paid off today. When the rain came, I just put my head down and did my own thing.
“Before I knew it, I was P7, then P5, P3 but there were still ten laps to go, and I knew that our pace in the dry might not be enough. But I stayed focused, and we did it! I still can’t believe it to be honest. It’s been a tough year for the entire team and so to take a result like this is incredible.
“We always bring something new each weekend and I cannot thank the team enough, they are doing their very best to improve the package and I cannot ask for more than that, so I always do my best to give 100% as well, on and off the track.
“This win is for the entire team, Midori, Honda, PETRONAS and all the sponsors.”