Tarran Mackenzie celebrated the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship title with a stunning last gasp win in the second race of the weekend at Brands Hatch, the McAMS Yamaha rider taking it down to the wire against rival Tommy Bridewell on the final drag to the line.
At the start of the race, Mackenzie launched off the line to lead the pack into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, but by the time they reached Surtees, Bridewell had forged ahead on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati.
Bridewell was holding the lead, bidding to make a break but Mackenzie was soon piling on the pressure and it would go down to the chequered flag between the two title contenders.
Mackenzie needed to secure victory to seal the title with one race remaining and he made a pass at Paddock Hill Bend to regain the lead at the start of the twelfth lap.
Two laps later and the McAMS Yamaha rider had a huge moment on the exit of Stirlings, saving a near highside as Bridewell had to roll off the power to take evasive action and then had to regain the lost ground.
A lap later and Bridewell snatched the lead back at Stirlings, trying to keep his title rival at bay over the closing stages and it would come down to an epic final lap between the pair.
Bridewell led over the line by 0.127s and then Mackenzie made a move up the inside at Druids to take the advantage. But as the pair reached Surtees Bridewell was back ahead and it wasn’t until Clearways when Mackenzie could retake the positon, diving for the inside on the drag to the line to win by 0.087s.
Mackenzie said: “I was in two minds whether to try and go for the win or not. I didn’t know what to do! That final move, I’ve done three times before in Supersport and I played it smart into that last corner. Tommy went defensive which is the right thing to do but I just cut back and got it! Honestly, I can’t believe it. It’s been a roller-coaster of a year. It’s nice to have all the fans back, especially at Brands Hatch so I thank everyone that’s come out to support me over the years. And to do it 25 years since dad won his title is amazing – it shows how old he is! I can’t thank everyone enough!”
Jason O'Halloran meanwhile had delivered an impressive performance to carve his way through the field from the fourth row of the grid to claim third. He goes into the final race equal on points with Bridewell for second in the standings.
Christian Iddon was forced to settle for fourth after a final battle with O’Halloran in the closing stages, the VisionTrack Ducati rider holding an advantage over Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes, with Danny Buchan and Gino Rea completing the top eight.
Glenn Irwin and Kyle Ryde completed the top ten ahead of this afternoon’s final race of the 2021 season.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 2 result:
1. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
2. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +0.087s
3. Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +1.398s
4. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +2.370s
5. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +5.874s
6. Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +8.437s
7. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +9.430s
8. Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +15.298s
9. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +18.297s
10. Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG BMW) +19.161s
For the full result please click here
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings ahead of the final race:
1. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 1177
2. Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1146
3. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 1146
4. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 1141
5. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 1081
6. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 1075
7. Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 1066
8. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 1055
For the full standings please click here