British Superbike champion Tarran Mackenzie is one of four rivals vying for the 202 World Cup with Yamaha as racemaker Andrea Dosoli evaluates his chances.
Garrett Gerloff’s contracts with Kohta Nozane’s Yamaha and Giansanti Competition Team expire after this season. “I’d like to watch a few of their races before I decide how to proceed,” said race manager Andrea Dosoli in an exclusive interview with SPEEDWEEK.com.
Since Gerloff ousted world champion and fellow Yamaha Toprak Razgatlioglu in the first corner in Assen in 2021, he has been mentally unstable. Prior to that, Texan had five podiums and recommended himself for bigger things. Nozane, the 2020 Japanese Superbike Champion, has managed only two-digit results in his 46 races so far and has never finished in 7th place.
So it is likely that at least one driver will be replaced in GRT by 2023. With Supersport World Champion and World Champions leader Domi Aegerter (31), second World Cup winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (25) and British Superbike Champion Tarran Mackenzie (26), three acres of Yamaha are advancing in the Superbike World Championships. Bradley Ray is also a potential candidate, a 25-year-old Yamaha rider leading the BSB after 12 races.
Mackenzie, supervised by Michael Laverty, broke his left ankle during pre-season BSB trials in early April but returned to running in late May. He has a wild card for the SBK event at Donington Park in mid-July and is playing for the first time at the World Cup with McAMS Yamaha Team. Depending on how things are going in the BSB, the appearance of a wild card for the second time later in the season is possible after failing to run Assen due to injury.
“Tarran deserved to be promoted to the World Superbike after what he did last year,” said Dosoli, who says the same about Aegerter.
It is difficult to assess how much Mackenzie is looking at the monetary element when making his decision. Because the main pilots in the BSB are usually well paid, which is not the case in every individual World Cup team.
“Winners usually want to take the next challenge and show that they are good enough,” Dosoli says. “If a rider does well in a world championship, he will make a lot of money there. Ultimately, it is about what one wants to achieve in life. Does he want to stay in a comfort zone? Or does he want to face challenges? Knowing that it can be difficult. “