Taylor Mackenzie has been to some far off destinations during his short racing career to date, but the young Scottish rider had never been to Northern Ireland until he visited his new team Mar-Train Racing's headquarters and workshop last week.

Mackenzie is on his travels again today to Spain in preparation for the team's opening test of 2012 at Almeria ahead of the new British Supersport Championship campaign, which gets under way at Brands Hatch at Easter.

Former 125cc GP racer Mackenzie, who will be 19 on Friday, said: "It was really good to get over to Northern Ireland and meet the team for the first time even though it was only for one day. From what I saw it [Northern Ireland] looks very like Scotland. I know Andy Jamison from the racing paddock but it was nice to meet Tim and Sonya Martin and visit the workshop and Mar-Train offices.

"I'll be riding a standard Yamaha R6 for two days at Almeria, and then the team are out next week where I'll get three days on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha Supersport machine. Having seen the bike last week for the first time, I'm sure you'll agree by the pictures it looks really good."

Taylor has been putting in the hard yards over the winter months in training, spending quite a bit of time cycling with his sponsors at RST.

"I've been out riding with Chris Walker and Jonny Towers and Ben Swift who rides for Team Sky was also out with us last weekend. We did three and a half hours one day and four the next so it's hard training but I've enjoyed training at home over the winter; now it's time to ride my race-bike and I'm looking forward to it."

The Spanish test will take place next weekend from March 2-4.



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