The reigning champion had been building back to full fitness after his pre-season injuries had seen him not able to attend and register points at the first two rounds.
Points had been slowly coming to the number one plate but crashes in race weekends were still a concern.
The five week break was a welcome chance to heal and finished with a return to track as Mackenzie completed his long overdue wildcard appearance in WSBK, helping him arrive race-ready at the Kent track.
- 2022 British Superbike Brands Hatch- Race Results (2)
- 2022 British Superbike Brands Hatch: O’Halloran continues winning ways
- 2022 British Superbike Brands Hatch- Race Results (3)
Fourth after Friday, the Scottish rider then built into the weekend, converting a front row place into second in the sprint.
Recovery complete, Mackenzie had even more to offer on Sunday. An emotional, dominant win of race one showed he still had what it takes to fight for the title. That win was backed up by another victory in round three, a fiery grandstand finish between himself and McAMS team-mate Jason O’Halloran.
Speaking of the contrast between the two results Mackenzie said:
‘I’ve kind of had two completely different races, the first one was out front leading, just kind of racing my pitboard, but today was just hectic, it felt like we were never going to get past Glenn, no-one could pass him!”
Once the duo had removed Irwin from the equation, the final removal from the early lead pack, it went down to the very last corners to see who would win.
“I was completely sideways!”
The final lap saw O’Halloran, who had been sat in patiently behind, make his move:
“I know he’s (O’Halloran ) strong into Stirling so I went defensive, then I braked so deep into the final cornerthat the forks went metal to metal, just bouncing back, nearly poked me in the eye! He came flying by and I went ‘there’s no way he’s stopping that’ and to be fair to him, if I hadn’t driven underneath him I think he probably would have got it.”
The win elevates Mackenzie into The Showdown places for the first time with his double win adding valuable podium points to his cause. The Yamaha man also picked up the King of Brands Hatch trophy and the Rider of the Round awards.
Jason O’Halloran bridged the summer gap by adding the sprint race win on Saturday to his double on Sunday at Knockhill. The Australian then topped morning warm up showing he had frontrunner pace for the final two races.
Learning from the best
The number 22 finished second in both, seeing the gap increase as he tried to pass Bradley Ray in race two, but learning all he could behind Mackenzie in race three, who he considers superior at Brands Hatch, while looking to pounce on an error, which never came from the smooth Scot.
“ He’s always been a little bit stronger than me here, so it was really good for me to sit in behind him and then on the last lap I knew where I was going to make a pass if I was close enough.”
“ I probably went through with a little bit too much speed, bounced the front off the bottom twice, ran wide, then Taz came back under me, I nearly got back by to the line but just missed out.”
“He Isn’t just going to ride past me!”
Glenn Irwin had lead for much of the race before the Yamaha train he was expecting finally arrived. The Honda man had noticed that unlike the McAMS who have finished top two each race, Bradly Ray had instead been dropping off as races have progressed, which gave him hope of holding onto a podium finish.
“When I got to the lead, obviously, I expect them to go by, considering the pace that they have, not just here, but everywhere”.
“When those two went by me I knew Bradley (Ray) wouldn’t be getting it easy wit his tyre wear… with six laps to go I thought ‘I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. He isn’t just going to ride past me, I’m not going to give away a podium at this stage”.
Bradley Ray was fourth twice - damage limitation after fading back in the races, but it means the local rider misses out on valuable podium points ahead of the rapidly approaching Showdown.
The title standings after Brands Hatch see O’Halloran take over at the top with a total of 265 and 37 podium points to his name, the most of anybody.
Old BSB Brands Hatch Lap Record: Josh Brookes - Yamaha - 1m 24.873s (2017)
New BSB Brands Hatch Lap Record: Jason O’Halloran - Yamaha - 1m 24.433s (2022)
Race One Result:
Race Two Result:
Race Three Result:
2021 Race Winners:
Race 1: Tarran Mackenzie
Race 2: Jason O’Halloran
Race 3: Christian Iddon
Round 11 (The Showdown)
Race 1: Tarran Mackenzie
Race 2: Tommy Bridewell
Race 3: Jason O’Halloran
Ray is now second overall ten points behind the Yamaha rider and with 30 podium points.
Lee Jackson remains third overall on 187 after losing his momentum, picking up just a 9th in the sprint and tenth in race three, with a rare DNF in between.
Rory Skinner also endured a torrid time - the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki rider stays fourth after a middling 6th in the sprint and 7th in race two, with valuable points save as he fought back to ninth in today’s final run around the Kent track.
Kyle Ryde is fifth after a similar run, with Glenn Irwin sixth - his triple win at the first round added to his rostrum place today sees him with a healthier podium points tally than many of those ahead of him with 16.
Tommy Bridewell sits seventh, while two wins move Mackenzie into eighth,the final spot, overtaking Danny Buchan.