Taylor Mackenzie: I wanted to give up racing in 2015

Taylor Mackenzie says he almost gave up racing after a disastrous rookie year in BSB in 2015 but is now plotting an almighty return with Bennetts Suzuki.
Read the full interview with Taylor Mackenzie here

2016 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 champion Taylor Mackenzie says he almost gave up racing entirely after a disastrous rookie year in BSB a year earlier but is now plotting an almighty return in 2017.

Son of three-time BSB champion Niall Mackenzie, the Scottish clan's reputation has grown into a hugely successful sporting family after Taylor claimed the National Superstock 1000 crown while his younger brother Tarran also secured the British Supersport title in 2016 to provide double delight.

The older Mackenzie brother is now gearing up for the 2017 MCE British Superbike championship on board a factory-supported Bennetts Suzuki alongside new team-mate and former world champion Sylvain Guintoli.

Having been on the ultimate high for the past 12 months and an exciting and ultra-competitive set-up for the new season, it is surprising to find out how close Mackenzie came to packing it all in at the end of 2015.

“We got to the middle of 2015 and it was a never-ending cycle of bad results and things going wrong," Mackenzie reflected on his ill-fated rookie BSB campaign with Team WD-40 Kawasaki. “I've always put my absolute heart and soul into what I do because it's all we do in my family so I took that quite hard.

“At the time my brother was doing well and you can't help comparing yourself. I've always though I could ride a bike alright and couldn't understand why it was going so well for him and so badly for me. The flip side of course was the feeling that if he could do it then I could as well but the contrast just got too great.

“There came a point after I'd been set on fire at Snetterton that I started to wonder why I was doing it, why I was putting myself through so much heartache. I wasn't taking any money out of it and if I put the amount of heart and soul that I was putting into racing into another job I'd certainly be getting something.

“It got to Knockhill and I'd had further problems there so we sat down in the caravan together and I was in floods of tears. At that stage dad just asked me if I wanted to stop because he couldn't stand seeing me like that. I remember the moment though because my brain just wouldn't let me say 'yes'."

Mackenzie says the support from his family helped him pull through but he hated seeing how it was hurting his father, mother and brother. A step back to the Superstock 1000 series was galvanising as he went on to clinch the title in his maiden year.

“It was horrible for my family seeing me like that but I couldn't say no so I did what I could for the rest of the season. It was all about not giving up. At the end of the year my best result was 16th and that put my back up against the wall.

“That year kind of crushed a lot of confidence out of me and I became a bit paranoid about things going wrong.

“At the end of that year me and dad sat down and decided that the best thing to do would be to try and get a stock 1000 bike for the next season where the playing field is really level and if that didn't work out I'd go and do something else."

Read the full interview with Taylor Mackenzie here

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Taylor Mackenzie Team WD-40 Kawasaki -
Taylor Mackenzie (GBR), Team WD-40 Kawasaki, BSB [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jake Dixon, RAF Reserves Kawasaki [Credit: MSV BSB Media]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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January 28, 2017 2:17 PM

You forget sometimes how much these riders sacrifice and put into the sport even if their dad was a successful racer before them. Sometimes you need to have a real low before you can pick yourself up and become better. Good luck to Taylor in 2017 & to those that were/are in the same position he was in in 2015


January 28, 2017 5:20 PM

Well said Liam.It's obvious Taz is the real deal but i always felt Taylor was in it thanks to his dads connections but i was wrong. I think he's grown into it and is now every bit a good as his dad and little brother and could upset a few people this year like he did last season! Good luck to all the riders this season.My low speed off at a track day last year puts into perspective how awesome these lads really are.

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