Taylor Mackenzie joins Mar-Train
'I must admit I'm happy that Taylor's on a Yamaha - it will suit the way he rides' - Niall Mackenzie.
By Barry Russell
After losing a major sponsor forced Taylor Mackenzie out of the grand prix paddock, the 18 year-old Scot has secured a ride for 2012 in the British Supersport series with Tim Martin's Northern Irish-based Mar-Train Racing.
Mackenzie will join Jack Kennedy, who finished seventh in the 2011 British Supersport championship, and ride a Yamaha R6.
Taylor's father, Niall, spent much of his career on Yamahas in the British Championship, winning three BSB titles before retiring at the end of the 2000 season. In 2012 he spent much of the season supporting Taylor in the grand prix paddock.
Taylor's younger brother Tarran will also be in the BSB paddock this year, having recently confirmed that he will contest the British 125GP Championship with Redline KTM.
"I'm really excited to be riding in British Supersport this season with Mar-Train," said Mackenzie, who finished 24th overall, but with a best finish of fifth, during an injury-interrupted 125GP World Championship campaign.
"I had a tough season in grand prix last year, so it's nice to have the deal completed and be able to concentrate on my training programme. I was at my limit on the 'one-two-five' last year size-wise: I was squashed onto it!
"At times I'd sore knees and was trying to stay as skinny as possible all year, but having ridden an R6 in Spain before the New Year it was so nice and comfortable to ride.
"The BSB calendar now has so many good tracks to race at and I've ridden at Assen this last three years, so that will obviously help. Having Jack in the team next year will be great, as I'll have someone to learn from. I just need to concentrate on getting stronger now to ride the 600. I can't wait."
Niall Mackenzie admitted the plan had been for his son to remain in the grand prix paddock for a second season, but they were forced to look at other options.
"We looked at what was possible and the plan was to stay in grand prix for one more season, but a number of things happened and we realised he'd have to move onto a 600 at some time," said Niall.
"I'd spoken to a number of people that I know, but Tim's team were recommended to me by a good friend in the business. Taylor was also keen on the idea and after that it all just unfolded.
"Taylor had five days in Spain at the end of last year and had time on an R6 road bike. He loved it and having grown a bit towards the end of last season, he was happy that he fitted onto it after being cramped on the 125. So just before the New Year we shook hands on the deal with Tim.
"I must admit I'm happy that Taylor's on a Yamaha - it will suit the way he rides. There's a bit of family history there obviously and I've a good relationship with Yamaha worldwide, so hopefully that will be good for us and the team.