BSB: Rookie Mackenzie off to strong start

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Bennetts BSB rookie Tarran Mackenzie impressed on the opening day at Brands Hatch placing third quickest in the day’s only dry session.

The former British Supersport Champion has been steadily making progress over the first half of the season and is hoping for that to continue at the Brands Hatch GP circuit this weekend.

Just 0.3 seconds off session leader Leon Haslam, Mackenzie got off to his strongest start yet but is keen not to get carried away after just one strong session with FP2 hampered by rain.

“I was looking forward to coming here as I’ve always liked it,” he told MCN. “The bike felt good from the first lap out. It was nice; a bit different to Knockhill where the bike didn’t feel good on the first lap and that kind of did it for the weekend as we were chasing set-up all the time.

“The bike felt good initially, there’s a few things we wanted to try in FP2 but we didn’t get chance with the weather, but hopefully this morning is a good sign for the rest of the weekend.”

Mackenzie’s rookie season has so far been up and down with both highs and lowes in the first five rounds. However, a best result of sixth at Snetterton shows he’s getting closer to the front.  

“I thought we’d be a bit more consistent than we have been. I surprised myself at the second round here on the Indy circuit, making it into Q3 and then finishing in the top ten… Oulton was a struggle but we finished ninth and then at Snetterton I was a lot closer to the front. We’ve been improving but Knockhill was a backwards step.

“It’s down to me still learning and the guys learning about me. I’m happy with how it’s going, I’m still a rookie and I know it’s only FP1 but I was third in session with a lot of top riders. If we can be consistently in the top ten this weekend I’ll be pleased.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing