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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Donington Park, Great Britain, 28/09/2016, British Superbike Championship

A title dream come true

Interview with BSB Superstock champion Taylor Mackenzie

The 18th September 2016 is a day that Taylor Mackenzie will not forget in a hurry: On this Sunday, he celebrated his early title win at Donington in the Superstock class of the British Superbike Championship (BSB STK). This is the greatest success to date in the career of the 23-year-old Buildbase BMW Motorrad rider.

Mackenzie is the scion of a Scottish racing family. His father Niall Mackenzie is the three-time British Superbike champion and has driven in the Motorcycle World Championship and the Superbike World Championship. Taylor started his career in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, competed in the British Supersport Championship and spent a season in the BSB Superbike class before coming to Buildbase BMW Motorrad and the Superstock class in 2016.

Mackenzie has claimed six wins this season on his BMW S 1000 RR in this closely-fought series. He now has a 32-point lead over Ian Hutchinson (BMW Tyco) in second place. This season, the BMW S 1000 RR is the dominant bike in the BSB STK. In 11 races so far, a BMW Motorrad Motorsport racer has been the winner on nine occasions. Mackenzie has topped the podium six times, Hutchinson won twice and Joshua Elliott (Tyco BMW) also claimed one victory. The BMW riders have also enjoyed a near monopoly on the podium places, recording two top-five lock-outs and two top-three lock-outs for the RR.

In this interview, Mackenzie talks about his title win, the kick he gets from motorcycle racing, and about the RR, his “favourite ever motorcycle“.

“It is a very proud moment for me”

Question: “Taylor, congratulations for winning the title. Being Champion in the Superstock class of the BSB – what does this mean to you?”

Taylor Mackenzie: “It is a very proud moment for me. Racing is a big part of my family life and we work incredibly hard as a family to be as successful as we can be, so when the dream you’ve been working towards all year finally comes true it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Question: “How did you celebrate the title?”

Mackenzie: “Donington Park is ten minutes from my home, so all of my old school friends and family were there to celebrate with me. It was nice to go home with everyone and have a beer, or two!”

Question: “You have won six races so far this season and celebrated an early title win. What is the secret of your success? It is an extremely closely fought series…”

Mackenzie: “It’s been a very difficult year, but I have personally prepared myself as best I can and also my team has done a great job preparing my bike this season. We have done a lot of testing, practicing and racing this year and all of it seems to have paid off.”

Question: “Your father Niall also was a successful and title winning motorcycle racer, you are a racing family – so was it always clear that you would also start a racing career?”

Mackenzie: “Actually, it was not so clear. When I was very young I didn’t have as much interest in racing. I have always ridden bikes, but it wasn’t until I was 14 I finally started racing. Once I started there was no going back and it’s taken over my life since then.”

Question: “What makes racing so appealing and exciting for you?”

Mackenzie: “It controls my life, but I love that. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning, whether it is to train in the gym or ride at a track every day is an exciting one. I don’t think I would get the same thrill from any other kind of work.”

“My favourite ever motorcycle”

Question: “It is your first season on the BMW S 1000 RR. How do you like the bike?”

Mackenzie: “It is by far and away my favourite ever motorcycle. From the first lap I rode the bike it just felt like exactly what I needed. The first thing I noticed was the power, as it is very fast, but it’s also very nimble and easy to ride, which makes it very good for racing on the British race tracks.”

Question: “Are the strengths of the bike also the reason why the RR is so dominant in the BSB Superstock class?”

Mackenzie: “It definitely is, I think when everyone could see how we dominated the first few races everyone then wanted to buy one.”

Question: “How important is the experience of your team Buildbase BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing and the support of the HP Race Support?”

Mackenzie: “It is very important. We haven’t had to second guess anything this year, the team knew exactly what to do with the gearing and suspension before we got to each track, which made it very easy to go fast straight away. The HP Race support package was also very good and definitely helped us.”

Question: “What was your best moment on the BMW S 1000 RR so far?”

Mackenzie: “Winning my first race of the season was great as it was my first win in five years. Crossing the finish line to win the championship was also a very special moment for me too, as it was my first British Championship.”

Question: “You are among the top positions in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy – and have already secured the championship bonus for you as the rider and for the team. How do you like the concept of this special BMW competition?”

Mackenzie: “The BMW Motorrad Race Trophy is incredible for all riders. It is very generous of BMW to support the riders and teams so well, and I am very grateful for it.”

Strong point: the starts

Question: “What are your biggest strengths as a rider? And what is your weak point?”

Mackenzie: “I think my starts and speed on the first lap have helped me a lot this year. I was able to break away a lot of the time and control the race, which made my job a bit easier. I don’t like to think I have any weak points, but my Team Manager Steve Hicken would probably tell you it’s when I have tools in my hand working on the bikes!”

Question: “How would your best friend describe you as a person?”

Mackenzie: “I’d like to think I laugh a lot, and I try to have fun with everything I do.”

Question: “Do you have any interests and hobbies that are not related to two wheels or racing?”

Mackenzie: “I like to go running and train in the gym. I’m glad I enjoy it as I spend a lot of hours doing it, and it would make racing incredibly tough if I didn’t like it.”  

Question: “How would your perfect race-free weekend look like?”

Mackenzie: “It would be spent on the couch relaxing watching BMW winning WSBK races!”  

Question: “What goals have you set yourself for your racing future?”

Mackenzie: “I have been that focused on winning the title this year I haven’t really had time to think about the future! But I would love to be competitive in British Superbikes.”