Taylor Mackenzie will ride for Wilf Moore’s MotoRapido Ducati team for the 2018 British Superbike Championship, it has been confirmed.
The elder Mackenzie brother has spent two tough years in the superbike class in 2015 and 2017, but showed potential aboard the Bennetts Suzuki with a strong fifth place at Knockhill last year. However, an abundance of technical issues and injuries held him back as the team worked to develop the bike.
With the Suzuki effort scaling back for 2018, Mackenzie was left without a ride as Bradley Ray and Richard Cooper were confirmed in the Buildbase Suzuki squad, but a late deal with Steve Moore’s MotoRapido squad will see him back on the grid next year after John Hopkins confirmed he’d miss the 2018 season through injury.
“Everyone kept telling me that things happen for a reason but eating my Christmas dinner with no rider wasn’t a great feeling,” Mackenzie told MCN. “I was sidelined at the end of the season pretty beat up and having no ride coming into the new year was a bitter pill to swallow.
“I just kept my head down and prepared myself as I normally would for the start of the season convincing myself something would come up. Unfortunately for John Hopkins, the ride became available as he’ll miss 2018 with a really nasty injury.
“2017 was one of my toughest seasons yet. I learned a lot during the year but just about everything that could have gone wrong did! It was just one of those years, the hardest bit for me was having a strong fifth place when the bike was relatively undeveloped and then towards the end of the year when the team made big steps with the bike I was out injured!”
Taylor won’t be the only Mackenzie on the grid this year with brother Tarran having joined the McAMS Yamaha team.
“I race against Tarran every day. Whether it’s up the stairs, in the gym or on off road bikes so it’s normal for us. I’m really looking forward to having him in the class because we trust each other a lot and can push eachother through the year. Obviously we want to beat each other because we are competitive, but it’s everyone else that should be worried because I know how fast he is!
“As far as my own goals go, I’ve got a great team behind me on a really good bike so the ingredients are all there. I’ve ridden in BSB enough to know how hard it is and it’s never plain sailing, but we’ll work hard to surprise a few people.”