The 2020 Bennetts British Superbike championship should be roaring into life this month. But, due to the corona virus shutdown, the start date is currently on hold until at least the end of May.
Disappointed fans will have to wait for real track action but in the meantime Captain Cover-sponsored rider Tarran Mackenzie gave his thoughts on the upcoming season.
The new Yamaha YZF-R1
Tarran, who rides for McAMS Yamaha, recently returned from testing in Spain and is excited to be riding the new YZF-R1.
“The new bike is good, a clear step forward from last year while not being a completely new bike meaning you have to start from scratch.
We went to the test to do a job, we didn’t have a set plan that we were ticking through each day, we were more working on something we needed to work on until it felt right and then moved on to the next thing to test.
Jason (teammate Jason O’Halloran) and I split the work 50/50, he’d work on one thing while I worked on another, and by the time we went to Jerez we were in a good position. I wasn’t as happy as I wanted to be leaving Monteblanco, but after Jerez I was feeling much better in myself, my riding and with the bike.
We also managed to have a bonus two-day test in Almeria, which gave us even more time to make more progress with the bike. Over the three circuits, we didn’t really change the bike’s set-up too much which is really encouraging as they are three very different tracks. In all, after seven days on the bike I was very happy.”
Training during the corona virus shutdown
He is also managing to keep training and stay focused during the current shutdown.
“I had a really good three months over winter and I’m at a good base level of fitness so it’s going to be about maintaining that for whenever the season kicks off. If they came out and said we could race next week, I feel ready to go right now so I need to make sure that remains the case for whenever they do say we can go racing again.
We are lucky where I live. My Mum and Dad have got a flat track out the back of the house which we can ride on. The weather has been picking up so we did a bit of that, but we need to bear in mind the government advice too!
I have a gym at home which also helps. I’ve got a training plan and train a lot with my brother, Taylor, which is nice. The government say we’re allowed out once a day to exercise so it’ll be making the most of that each day when the weather is good and focusing more on working in the gym at home when it’s not so good!”
The 2020 British Superbike season
And he’s keeping focused on the upcoming season.
“Last year the goal was to build on the end of my first year in BSB where I was consistently fighting for podiums and to win a race in 2019 was one of my main goals so to do that at the first round was quite good.
The first few rounds went quite smoothly; in the first five or six rounds I was fighting for the podium. I had a crash at Brands Hatch, but I came back at Knockhill and Snetterton and continued to fight for wins and podiums. When I broke my wrist at Thruxton, this made things more difficult.
Going into the winter, I wanted to focus on being more consistent. If I can have a more consistent and injury-free season, there’s no reason I can’t be finishing inside the top three. If we can be there or thereabouts every weekend, and we’re in a strong position come the end of the year I’ll be giving it my all in the Showdown!”
A message for BSB fans
Tarran also has a message for BSB fans everywhere:
“These are tricky times and everyone has different circumstances. We have to listen to what the government are saying and stay at home aside from essential trips to the shops or if you absolutely can’t work from home.
It’s frustrating for everyone, but the UK is doing the right thing at the minute with the self-isolation and social distancing. Try the best you can to stay healthy and stick to the guidelines – the quicker everyone does that then the quicker we’ll be back to normal and racing bikes again!”