BSB Brands Finale: Mackenzie celebrates title with triple win

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Picture: Impact Images

McAMS Yamaha’s Tarran Mackenzie completed his dominance of proceedings at Brands Hatch on Sunday afternoon as he made it three wins from three in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

It was again close between him and Tommy Bridewell but Mackenzie, who clinched the title earlier in the day, took control on the final lap with the Oxford Products Racing Ducati of Bridewell again in second, the duo also occupying first and second in the championship. Jason O’Halloran finished third in the race and in the championship on the second McAMS machine.

Mackenzie, running the number one plate, grabbed the lead off the line and led the field round at the end of the first lap with Bridewell, Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati), O’Halloran, Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) and Andrew Irwin (Synetiq BMW) in hot pursuit.

Iddon briefly went from third to first at the start of the second lap only to run wide at Paddock Hill Bend but Bridewell did manage to make a pass stick and started lap three in the lead from Mackenzie with the running order behind staying the same.

Bridewell began to edge away slightly and going into lap five, the gap to Mackenzie had stretched to three quarters of a second and although Mackenzie and Iddon remained in second and third, there’d been a shuffle behind and it was now Hickman, O’Halloran and Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) occupying fourth to sixth.

Glenn Irwin’s season came to a premature end with a seventh lap retirement for Honda Racing but at the front, Mackenzie was keeping Bridewell’s lead under a second. Iddon was a further half second behind and had Hickman for close company whilst Brookes was doing everything he could to get by fellow Australian O’Halloran.

The gap came down to 0.268s at the end of lap eight with Bridewell and Mackenzie now comfortably clear of Iddon and Hickman, newly crowned champion Mackenzie having set the fastest lap of the race.

The leading six riders were now in three distinct groups of two and at half race distance, the status quo remained with Bridewell leading by a quarter of a second with Iddon a further 1.5s adrift. O’Halloran, meanwhile, had opened a slender 0.4s gap over Brookes.

Mackenzie continued to shadow Bridewell but the battle for third now looked to involve three riders with O’Halloran having closed in on Iddon and Hickman. Brookes was now three quarters of a second behind O’Halloran with Danny Buchan a similar distance behind him on the second Synetiq BMW.

The beginning of lap 16 saw Mackenzie finally make his move, coolly moving up the inside of Bridewell at Paddock Hill Bend but the Ducati man responded at Hawthorn to go back to the front. O’Halloran, meanwhile, moved ahead of Hickman with Buchan doing the same shortly afterwards.

It all came down to the last lap and Mackenzie again went into the lead at Paddock Hill and although Bridewell made a last gasp move at Clearways, he ran wide and he completed his hat-trick with Bridewell in second once more.

There was drama further behind as Iddon and Buchan crashed out at Paddock Hill and that allowed O’Halloran to claim third although he had to settle for third in the final championship standings with Bridewell claiming second.

Brookes grabbed fourth from Hickman with FS-3 Racing’s Lee Jackson taking sixth and with it the BSB Rider’s Cup. Team-mate Rory Skinner finished seventh with Bradley Ray, Andrew Irwin and Gino Rea rounding out the top ten.

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Picture: Impact Images
Picture: Impact Images