Tarran Mackenzie says he feels ‘ready’ to break his Bennetts British Superbike Championship victory duck after stealing the show during qualifying for the 2019 opening round at Silverstone. 

The young Scot had been in the mix for the top spots throughout the weekend alongside his new McAMS Yamaha team-mate Jason O’Halloran but produced his best when it mattered in Q3 with a 53.549secs flyer that put him out of his rivals’ reach.

An unexpected bonus for Mackenzie – whose father Niall won the BSB title in 1998 – the result marks the 23-year old’s first-ever pole position at the venue where he collected his first podium success in 2018.

“I felt like I was on the limit in Q1 and Q2 so we made a quick change back to what I ran on Friday and that gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “I just wanted to be on the front row, I didn’t expect to get pole so that’s a bonus! I’m confident heading into the race, we did a run on Friday afternoon then again in FP3 in the colder conditions. 

“They were very similar and I feel the bike has improved since then. It’s always four or five guys battling for the podium here, so it’ll be tough but I feel ready.”

Despite missing out on the chance to mark his Yamaha debut with pole position after several seasons competing in BSB on Honda machinery, O’Halloran was delighted to play his part in McAMS’ 1-2 performance and insists he is ‘confident’ for the races.

“All weekend we’ve been in the first couple of guys so that’s encouraging. We’ve done a lot of work this weekend on pace and tyre distance so I’m feeling confident for tomorrow. The races here are long, 30 lap races and I’m expecting there to be quite a few guys in the front group. 

“I don’t think anyone will get away as if you try that you’ll shred your tyre so I’m expecting it to be a hard race. It’s fantastic for the team to be first and second, it’s a great start to the year.”