With a golden opportunity to impress, Mackenzie’s efforts of becoming a permanent WorldSBK rider in 2023 could go a long way to being realised by how he gets on at Donington Park.
The Scottish rider, who missed the first two rounds of his 2022 BSB title defence due to a broken ankle, will be riding a WorldSBK-spec McAMS Yamaha R1, taking the tally of Yamaha riders to seven for the weekend.
"I’m really excited, even more so since I was supposed to do Assen and wasn’t able to because of injury," Mackenzie told WorldSBK.com. "So it’s been a long-time coming and to be finally here, at Donington Park, my home circuit, it’s great. I don’t have any expectations and I want to enjoy the weekend being here with my team.
"I want to leave the garage with a smile on my face and come back with a smile on my face and the rest will take care of itself. I’ve looked up to Jonny Rea for a long time since I was a small child and watched him as a fan, so to be here on the same grid is very cool!"
‘A lot depends on this weekend’ - Mackenzie
After also missing out on a debut wildcard appearance in Assen due to injury, Mackenzie’s first foray onto the WorldSBK stage has even greater importance attached to it.
But with that said, Mackenzie isn’t feeling ‘added pressure’ to perform: "WorldSBK is somewhere I’d love to be and I’ve aspired to be here for a long time. There’s been opportunities in the past to do wildcards at Donington Park that haven’t quite happened, so to finally be here and to experience the WorldSBK paddock is something very exciting for me.
"It’ll be a good experience this weekend and hopefully one day, I’ll be on the grid full-time. I’d like it to be in 2023, but it depends a lot on how I go this weekend but that doesn’t add any pressure on me. Hopefully we’ll see you next year!"