McAMS Yamaha announce their twin pronged attack on the prestigious Bennetts British Superbike Championship with fast Australian Jason O’Halloran paired with last season’s Rookie sensation Tarran Mackenzie.
With the duo announced on stage at the Motorcycle Live show today after months of speculation, the team will shortly be travelling to Almeria, Spain to put their freshly prepped YZF-R1 machines through their paces.
The Lancashire based team had a successful Superbike season taking three wins and a further seven podiums in only their second year in this ultra-competitive series and will be looking for more in 2019.
One of the standout performances in the 2018 BSB season was the eye-opening progression of Tarran Mackenzie who was fearlessly fighting for podiums throughout the second half of the season. ‘Taz’ was following in the footsteps of his father, Yamaha triple BSB Champion Niall from exactly 20 years beforehand.
Joining the squad will be Australian BSB race winner Jason O’Halloran who will be bringing a wealth of experience from both racing and development. Jason is relishing the chance to ride the Yamaha YZF-R1 after leaving the relative safety of another major team to see how he can progress.
The always enthusiastic Tarran Mackenzie is looking to capitalise on his stellar Rookie Superbike season; “We had a mega first year on the YZF-R1 and I’m just so pleased to be able to continue that progression with the same bike, crew and team for next season, it’s the perfect situation to be honest. Our target was to get a podium before the year was out and we got four with a couple more near misses, so I’m well happy with that to be honest.
We hit our stride mid-season and towards the end of the year I felt like my trackcraft and confidence was really high so it will be great starting the year in that way. Silverstone was a key round, we had two podiums, it should have been three and we were battling with the Championship contenders all race. The aim for next season is definitely to make the Showdown and get those first race wins. We have a test at Almeria after Motorcycle Live and I just can’t wait to get cracking, I’m not great at sitting around!”
A native of Woologong, Australia Jason O’Halloran definitely has a point to prove in 2019, saying; “It’s a new chapter and its really exciting to be joining a new team and manufacturer after a long time in the same place. I have big aims and know I’ve got loads more to prove, people haven’t seen the best of me yet! The bike is a proven race winner and the team has great pedigree, so I believe we have the ingredients to fight for wins.
I’ve followed the R1 plenty and it seems like you need to be smooth and hold good corner speed, things I really think I can work with. Taz has some great experience on the bike now, so it will be good to be able to hook into information too.”
Team Manager Grant Bunting summed up; “We had a strong year in BSB and learnt a lot about ourselves and the YZF-R1, so we can hit the ground running this season, with two cracking signings! Tarran exceeded all our expectations this year and we were really keen to keep him. He has good experience now and we want to help him make the next step up to be able to regularly win races, which we passionately believe he can do.
Jason is a really interesting signing for us and we will give him the tools to get the job done… and remind people why he is a BSB winner, after a tough injury hit year.”
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