"We’d like to see that happen" – Mick Shanley on prospect of Mackenzie in World Superbike

Saturday, 30 September 2023 08:25 GMT

The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team’s technical director spoke of the team’s WorldSSP rider and race winner in 2023 perhaps returning to Superbike machinery

The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has touched down in Portugal for the Pirelli Portuguese Round, with plenty of news coming out throughout the build-up to the round and during it. 2024’s rider market is well and truly open and whilst there are plenty of seats taken, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team haven’t confirmed their riders for the forthcoming season. One rider who will be looking to return to Superbike action is WorldSSP race winner from Most, Tarran Mackenzie.

The 2021 British Superbike champion has already tested the team’s Superbike at Misano in place of Eric Granado who was on MotoE™ World Championship duty. Mackenzie, the son of 500cc Grand Prix podium finisher and three-time British champion Niall Mackenzie, also bagged a podium for Honda on his Suzuka 8 Hours debut, showcasing his prowess on bigger machinery, something that would have turned heads for all concerned.

Speaking in pitlane during a live interview with the World Feed at Portimao, PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team technical director Mick Shanley responded to the question of whether or not Mackenzie was in contention for graduation: “We’d like that to happen. There’s a lot of things to fix at the moment but the intention is to keep working with Tarran. Everybody would enjoy it if they could see him on a Superbike again.”

With being the team’s technical director, Shanley is a core person in terms of what parts are on the horizon and he said about the closeness of the working relationship with Honda: “We’re working hard with Honda and HRC at the moment just to understand what’s coming. We’re going to work together. Hopefully we can expand how we work together and it would be a good time for any new rider to jump on the Fireblade.”

Reviewing what has been a difficult year for the team, with Granado missing Magny-Cours due to MotoE™ duties as well as being out injured for Misano as well as Hafizh Syahrin being injured at Imola and Most, Shanley said: “It’s kind of good to keep some momentum in some ways but it’s been a bit of a tough season for us, with both riders getting some injuries. It’s good to have both back and try to build, getting them some track time and improve what we can.”

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