Tarran Mackenzie is savouring his first ‘proper victory’ in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone after bouncing back from his penalised clash with team-mate Jason O’Halloran in race one to clinch a definitive victory hours later in race two.

On an opening weekend that saw the McAMS Yamaha team largely dominate proceedings, riders Mackenzie and O’Halloran delivered an impressive 1-2 result in qualifying with the Scot on pole position for the first time in his career.

The team looked set for a similarly dominant result in race one, albeit with O’Halloran ahead of Mackenzie after the Australian got the jump at the first corner. However, Mackenzie maintained the pressure into the closing stages, culminating in an attempt to grab the win on the final lap.

Squeezing up the inside at Luffield, Mackenzie pulled alongside as O’Halloran tipped in, the pair making contact to send the Australian down and into the gravel trap within sight of the chequered flag.

Mackenzie went on to complete what would have been his maiden BSB victory, only for race direction to penalise him with a ‘long-lap penalty’ in retrospect, the equivalent of three seconds, dropping him back to second.

With a chance to make amends in race two from pole position once more, Mackenzie seized the opportunity in comprehensive style, passing for the lead on lap 14 before controlling the pace thereafter to take the chequered flag without dispute this time. 

“To get my first proper victory is amazing,” he said. “We didn’t have the best pre-season and struggled quite a lot but we found something on Friday that made the bike a little easier to ride and gave me a lot more confidence.

“It was unfortunate what happened in race one, I tried to put that to the back of my mind and got on with race two.

“I was gutted to see Jason break down [in race two after technical issues] as I genuinely wanted to have a proper race with him. The safety car coming out towards the end of the second race made things more difficult, but I was able to maintain the gap and take the win.”

With Silverstone having already set the scene for Mackenzie’s breakthrough maiden BSB podium in 2018, McAMS Yamaha team owner Steve Rodgers was delighted to see ‘Taz’ in such fine form at the start of the 2019 campaign.

“Taz has long deserved a BSB win so it’s great to see him on that top step, he’s a great rider and we know it might be the first win but we know it won’t be the last.”

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