Tarran Mackenzie linked with 2022 WorldSBK move… but is there a snag?

British Superbike Championship leader Tarran Mackenzie has designs on switching to WorldSBK next season amid talk he is negotiating with Team Go Eleven

Tarran Mackenzie - McAMS Yamaha

British Superbike Championship leader Tarran Mackenzie could be in line for a move onto the international stage next season amid talks to join Team Go Eleven for the 2022 WorldSBK Championship, but his hopes could be dented by a change of direction regarding bike supply.

The Scot - son of triple BSB Champion and seven-time 500GP podium winner Niall Mackenzie - will this weekend tussle it out for the 2021 BSB title at Brands Hatch in what is set to come down to a four-way battle.

Mathematically six riders are still in with a shot but the crown is expected to go the way of either Mackenzie, his McAMS Yamaha team-mate Jason O’Halloran, VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon or Oxford Racing Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell. Mackenzie holds a ten point lead, but only 21 points cover the top four.

Regardless of how the finale shakes out, 25-year old Mackenzie has been making moves to secure a graduation to the WorldSBK Championship in 2022 and is understood to be deep in negotiations to replace the retiring Chaz Davies at Team Go Eleven.

The talks are likely to have been smoothed by Go Eleven’s plan to switch from Ducati machinery to a Yamaha R1 supply, a motorcycle Mackenzie has campaigned since his BSB debut in 2018. 

However, latest speculation suggests Yamaha is unable to guarantee an expansion to a third factory-assisted team alongside Pata Crescent and GRT, prompting Go Eleven to opt to remain a Ducati partner.

While it certainly doesn’t exclude Mackenzie from negotiations, it brings Ducati back into play with regards to rider selection if Go Eleven wants to maintain a works-backed relationship with the factory. 

Though Mackenzie’s hopes are boosted by the news this week that Luca Bernardi - one of Go Eleven’s top picks - will instead join Ducati stablemates Barni Racing, Speedweek reports he faces competition from 2019 WorldSSP runner-up Federico Caricasulo, who raced with GRT Yamaha in WorldSBK last season, plus well-backed Philipp Oettl, who could make up a funding shortfall brought about by departing sponsors.

If the Go Eleven deal falls through, Mackenzie’s alternative WorldSBK options look fairly scant, with only a handful of 2021 contesting teams still to decide on their riders.

These are Honda - whose seats are almost certainly going to Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge - and Motocorsa Racing, plus relative midfield-to-backmarkers MIE Racing, Pedercini Kawasaki, Gil Yamaha and Orelac Kawasaki.

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