Mackenzie and the McAMS Yamaha outfit will make their long-awaited first WorldSBK appearance at home with a wildcard
After being ruled out of his first scheduled wildcard appearance of the season at the TT Circuit Assen, Tarran Mackenzie will make his long-awaited MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship debut at the Prosecco DOC UK Round at Donington Park with the McAMS Yamaha outfit. The reigning British Superbike champion was injured pre-season but after getting back in action in the domestic series, will follow in his father Niall’s footsteps by making his World Championship debut at Donington Park. The 26-year-old will be on a full WorldSBK-spec Yamaha R1, meaning he’ll have to get used to the Magneti Marelli electronics as well as the engine-spec, although he and the McAMS Yamaha team have plenty of knowledge of the Donington Park circuit.
Mackenzie has been the rider to beat in British Superbikes throughout the last season, with the British rider taking ten wins and some 19 podiums on his way to the crown, achieved during the final round at Brands Hatch. Mackenzie got his first BSB podium in 2018, having spent 2017 in the Moto2™ World Championship, where he achieved a point-scoring ride at Motegi. In 2019, Mackenzie got his first win in British Superbikes, before going on to finish fifth in the standings, backing it up with the same overall position in 2020. As well as his 2021 title, Mackenzie also has a British Supersport crown to his name from 2016. As for McAMS Yamaha, it will be their WorldSBK debut but the team behind the outfit, Raceways Motorcycles, has made plenty of appearances throughout the years in WorldSSP.
Speaking of the confirmation of his wildcard at the Prosecco DOC UK Round, Mackenzie said: “I am very excited to finally make my debut in the Superbike World Championship at Donington. It feels like it's been a long time coming and I was obviously disappointed when we couldn't do Assen. Donington is a special track for me as it's only 10 minutes down the road from home, I've had some great success there in BSB so I am looking forward to getting out on a World Superbike-spec R1 and seeing what both myself and the McAMS Yamaha team can achieve. Obviously, there is a lot to learn with the engine and electronics, but I know the chassis well as my BSB bike is very similar. The level in World Championship is really high and I'm looking forward to getting out on track and giving it our all. I have to say a huge thanks to Steve and the McAMS Yamaha team, as well as Andrea and everyone at Yamaha Racing for making this possible.”
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing manager Andrea Dosoli also commented: “We are looking forward to supporting Tarran and the McAMS Yamaha Team as they make their WorldSBK debut with a wildcard appearance at Donington, after what was an incredibly successful 2021 season for them in the British Superbike Championship. We have enjoyed a long and fruitful working relationship with the McAMS team and their two riders, with a real two-way collaboration bringing benefits for all. We are delighted to see Tarran and McAMS step up onto the world stage in Donington, as this fits perfectly with Yamaha's racing philosophy of offering opportunities to the best riders and teams worldwide.”
McAMS Yamaha team principal, Steve Rodgers, shared the excitement of the team making their WorldSBK debut: “We are looking forward to taking the McAMS Yamaha team to the world stage in our first Superbike wildcard appearance at Donington next month. Raceways have supported Tarran since his very early days of racing and we’ve seen him rise through the ranks, to the point where he won us the British Superbike Championship in 2021. His dream is to continue his progression, so we are delighted to be able to give him the opportunity to make his World Superbike debut as a reward for winning the championship last year.
“Obviously the plan was to do Assen before Donington, but unfortunately Tarran was injured and couldn’t ride so we are very much jumping in at the deep end this weekend, but our bikes are already very close to world championship specification. The engine and electronics will be different and the whole team will have to work hard to get used to those in a short space of time, but we have some very talented people on board including people who have recently worked in World Superbikes. There is no pressure or expectation from our side, we’ll just go and see what we can do!”
One of the team personnel in the McAMS Yamaha squad that has WorldSBK experience of the electronics and engine-spec that Mackenzie will use is Les Pearson. Pearson is crew chief to Jason O’Halloran – Mackenzie’s BSB teammate – and worked with Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) as crew chief for almost two years. Mackenzie’s crew chief, Chris Anderson, likewise has plenty of experience working in World Championship teams and with World Championship riders.
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