BSB: Tarran Mackenzie stays with McAMS Yamaha to defend his title
Tarran Mackenzie will stay in the UK and defend his Bennetts British Superbike Championship crown next year after signing a new one-year deal with McAMS Yamaha.
Mackenzie's future was unclear after securing his maiden title at Brands Hatch in October, with rumours circulating about a potential switch to the World Superbike Championship. However, these rumours never came to fruition, and the 26-year-old will now defend his title next season.
The reigning champion dominated the second half of the 2021 season and ended his campaign with an emphatic hat-trick at Brands Hatch. Overall, Mackenzie won 10 races and secured 19 podiums on his way to an emotional maiden championship. The celebrations were extra special for BSB and the Mackenzie family as it came 25 years after dad Niall won the first-ever modern-era BSB title (1996) - also on a Yamaha.
Mackenzie ended 2021 with a 36-point cushion over Tommy Bridewell, and a 40-point cushion over teammate and season-long rival Jason O’Halloran.
"I’m really happy to be staying with McAMS Yamaha in BSB for 2021 – there’s no doubt that the R1 is the bike to be on, you only have to look at the fact that between us, Jason and I won 21 out of 33 races this season," Mackenzie said.
"The best bit for me is I know there’s more to come from the package too, we visited Yamaha Racing HQ in Italy a couple of weeks ago and we’ve got some really exciting new parts to come which will hopefully move us on even more."
Whilst a dream move to WSB has been put on hold for now, McAMS Yamaha intend on entering Mackenzie as a wildcard into certain rounds of the 2022 WSB season - with more details to be revealed in due course.
"I’ve not exactly hidden that I would like to progress to the world stage, so I have to thank Steve Rodgers, the team and Yamaha for the opportunity to do some World Superbike wildcards next year," Mackenzie added.
Remarkably, 2022 will be Mackenzie's fifth campaign with Steve Rogers' McAMS Yamaha team and the ever-improving YZF-R1. Mackenzie has also revealed that he will run the number one plate next year, as he aims to become the first rider to successfully defend his crown since Shane Byrne in 2017.
"We are delighted that Tarran will remain part of the family in 2022," Rogers said. "He did such a fantastic job in the 2021 season, taking us to our first British Championship. In the final few rounds of the season, he without doubt raised the bar so if he can carry that form into 2022, he will be a force to be reckoned with.
"We aren’t resting on our laurels, 2021 was our most successful season to date but there are a number of areas in which we know we can improve. There were a few parts run by the factory WorldSBK team towards the end of last season that we’ll be running at the start of 2022 so hopefully we can hit the ground running with an even better package."