Scott Redding signalled his intention after blasting to the top of the times in this morning’s final Bennetts British Superbike free practice session before red flags halted action.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider powered past team-mate Josh Brookes in the closing minutes of qualifying to take control with the quickest time of the weekend before Ryan Vickers’ crash ended proceedings early.
But it was disaster just moments into the session as Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s world championship recruit Hector Barbera binned his ZX-10 on the Cooper Straight.
Brookes and Redding were straight back to their usual tricks as they topped the charts with the first 1’26 laps of the session, but Mackenzie soon eclipsed them both as he went almost six tenths quicker.
Smith’s BMW rider Hickman, Jason O’Halloran, Xavi Fores and Keith Farmer soon joined them in the 1’26 bracket, but Brookes dropped the mark even further as he stormed to the top of the order with a 1’25.843.
With just over half the session remaining, Oxford Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell shot forward to second, still 0.243s off Brookes’ quickest, but he stepped up his assault moments later and went 0.164s faster than the Aussie.
While the Devizes rider took over the lead, the Buildbase Suzuki boys - Luke Stapleford and Bradley Ray - had made their way into the top bunch with the sixth and seventh fastest laps, just ahead of Tyco BMW’s third fastest man from yesterday, Christian Iddon.
Just as Mackenzie looked to be on the move as he pipped Brookes for the runner-up spot, Brookes jumped back into the lead to demote Bridewell to second with 0.121s in hand.
Redding moved up to third with just over 10 minutes to go, but dropped the hammer with less than two minutes remaining as he took over at the top with a 1’25.196, 0.283s faster than his team-mate and almost half a second clear of the next V4 of Bridewell.
But action was red flagged after RAF Regular and Reserves’ Vickers dumped his Kawasaki at Clearways and ended the session while he was attended by the medics.
Mackenzie finished fourth quickest ahead of Iddon and FS-3 Kawasaki’s Buchan, while O’Halloran was seventh.
Farmer, Ray and Stapleford completed the top 10.