Thruxton BSB: Mackenzie claims final victory

| | British Superbikes
Picture: Impact Images

McAMS Yamaha’s Tarran Mackenzie got the verdict in the final Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the day at Thruxton on Sunday afternoon but it was close with just 0.019s separating him from Rich Energy OMG Yamaha’s Bradley Ray. Championship leader Jason O’Halloran took third on the second McAMS machine.

Mackenzie got the holeshot from OMG teammates Ray and Kyle Ryde and they led O’Halloran, and Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki pair Lee Jackson and Rory Skinner over the line at the end of the opening lap. Further back, Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) crashed out at the chicane after tangling with Josh Brookes and Ryan Vickers.

O’Halloran moved up to third second time around with Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) overhauling both Jackson and Skinner to go fifth but Danny Buchan was out and toured back to the pits on the Synetiq BMW. He was soon followed out of the race by Brookes, the MCE Ducati pulling off the track on lap four.

Back at the front and by lap five, Mackenzie led Ray by two tenths of a second with O’Halloran another half second back and, just like the opening race of the day, Hickman was doing his utmost to go with the Yamaha trio. Ryde was now in fifth ahead of Jackson and Tom Sykes on the sole surviving MCE Ducati but the latter two swapped positions at the start of lap seven.

Ryde was the next to drop out, crashing out at Cobb, and the front four were separated by a second as they started the eighth lap, Sykes two seconds in arrears in fifth but having his best showing of the 2022 season so far. He dropped back to sixth on lap nine with Haslam getting ahead of him at the chicane but there were now eight riders battling for fifth and positions were changing all the time.

As the race reached half race distance, Mackenzie was still controlling affairs from the front, the gap to Ray remaining constant at two tenths of a second and, all the time, O’Halloran was keeping a watching brief in third. Hickman was half a second adrift in fourth and hoping not to lose ground in the closing stages. Haslam was still running in fifth but Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) had now worked his way up to sixth at the expense of Sykes.

O’Halloran moved up to second on lap 13 but Hickman was forced to retire on the next lap, which promoted Irwin up to fourth, and as the race went into its final five laps, it was another showdown between long time race leader Mackenzie, O’Halloran and Ray.

Starting the penultimate lap, O’Halloran was in the lead, utilising his favourite passing spot of Church, but by the end of the lap he was back in third as Ray went from third to first at the chicane after making the most of the double slipstream.

All three riders were having moments with grip all but gone but Mackenzie grabbed the lead from Ray at Church and defended his line into the chicane. Just like the race earlier in the day, he almost lost out on the run in to the line but he got the verdict from Ray by 0.019s with O’Halloran having to settle for third on this occasion.

Irwin finished strongly to claim fourth and it was Jackson who got the Kawasaki bragging rights as he got the better of Haslam for fifth at the line with Tommy Bridewell, Andrew Irwin and Skinner closely following him. Sykes took tenth as he again lost ground in the closing stages.

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Picture: Impact Images
Picture: Impact Images