Tarran Mackenzie says his best qualifying performance of his rookie Bennetts British Superbike championship with fourth place shows his progress in the series but admits he was slightly frustrated to miss out on the front row.

The McAMS Yamaha rider moved up to a provisional second place with his final flying lap in Q3 but was shuffled down to fourth place at the chequered flag by teammate Josh Brookes and RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon – missing out on the front row by just 0.001s to the 22-year-old.

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Despite his annoyance at the tiny margin, the BSB rookie feels fourth place demonstrates his quick progress climbing the ranks in the championship in just his sixth round.

“This weekend has been a lot better than previous weekends starting off strong on Friday and having a good feeling with the bike on the first lap,” Mackenzie said. “I love this track and our bike suits the track quite well.

“I was third in FP1 and I’ve carried that momentum during the weekend so to be fourth and a thousandth of the front row is pretty close but going a lot better than I expected.

“I knew coming into this year would be tough in the championship and I knew I couldn’t come straight in and run at the front. It was going to take time and rely on progression at each round.

“At Snetterton I felt really comfortable with the bike but took a backwards step at Knockhill so I think it is a case of me learning to ride the bike more, understanding it and clicking with it.

“I didn’t expect to be this strong but I wanted to be solid, top six, all weekend but to be so close to pole position it is frustrating but I’ve got to accept it is my sixth round so to be here already is really good.”

Mackenzie comfortably heads up the BSB rookies field for 2018 with a best result of sixth place, coming in race one at Snetterton, and is currently 15th in the riders’ championship.



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