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The McAMS Yamaha team are ready and raring to go as the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike championship gets underway at Silverstone this weekend.

It’s been a busy winter for the squad, based at Raceways Motorcycles in Fleetwood, as they looked to develop Yamaha’s YZF-R1 to launch a title attack on this year’s championship with the returning Tarran Mackenzie and new-signing Jason O’Halloran.

Mackenzie and O’Halloran began testing for the 2019 season back at a shakedown test at Almeria in December, before the bikes underwent extensive development work back at base. The team sees a number of significant changes for 2019 with Kev Stephenson taking over engine development and Tim Seed taking over all things electronic, while ex-MotoGP Ohlins technician Mike Norton moves across to look after suspension.

The winter’s development seemed to take the team in the right direction with both Mackenzie and O’Halloran immediately comfortable on the bike as the squad returned to Europe for the official BSB tests at Monteblanco and Portimao in March, where O’Halloran was second quickest at the first test before topping the timesheets in Portugal.

One final test at Silverstone last week showed the 2019 McAMS Yamaha package to be in a strong position on British tracks too, with Aussie O’Halloran rounding out the pre-season on top heading into this weekend’s first round.

Despite the strong pre-season, the team are under no illusions – BSB is one of the toughest championships in the world and with proceedings getting underway at the 1.6-mile Silverstone national circuit, which produced some of the best racing of the season last year, things are expected to be close as O’Halloran and Mackenzie look to fight at the sharp end.

BSB rookie Matt Truelove heads in to round one with a slightly different approach as he continues to learn about riding the YZF-R1 in superbike-spec. Two solid finishes this weekend is the target as the Lincolnshireman looks to make a name for himself in the premier class.

Free practice gets underway at 10:20 on Good Friday with Sunday’s races scheduled for 13:30 and 16:30.

Round 1 – Silverstone – Schedule


Free Practice 1 10:20-11:05
Free Practice 2 15:30-16:15


Free Practice 3 10:35-11:20
Qualifying 16:00


Race 1 13:30 (30 laps)
Race 2 16:30 (30 laps)

Jason O’Halloran

“Switching teams for 2019, I expected to be a little bit on the back foot coming into round one but after so much time on the bike this winter, not only on the superbike but even on a road bike, I feel I’m in a better position than I’ve ever been to start a new season. I clicked with the bike the first time I rode it out of pit lane at Almeria and the encouraging thing for me is that even when we’ve had slight issues through testing, we’ve still been quick so I’m really looking forward to the season ahead. BSB is always super close, but this year it looks like it could be even closer so a strong start to the year could prove very important by the time it comes to the Showdown!”

Tarran Mackenzie

“I’m glad the season is here, it’s felt like quite a long winter! It wasn’t the best pre-season I’ve ever had in terms of pace, but I felt really comfortable on the bike and there is an improvement from last year, which for me is the post important thing. Towards the end of 2018 we were regularly fighting at the front and I feel the bike has definitely made a step forward since then. I love riding at Silverstone, the three races at the national circuit last year were really close but we had some great battles and it’s where I took my first BSB podiums, so it holds special memories for me.”

Matt Truelove

“I’m both excited and a bit nervous to make my superbike debut at Silverstone. Pre-season was good, I learned something every time I went out on the bike and gradually built up my confidence through each test. BSB is a really tough class so it’s not going to be easy heading in as a rookie. I want to use each round as a learning step and the priority for me has to be finishing the races. At this stage of the year I’ll be happy if I’m in the top 20, it might sound daft but you have to be realistic as BSB is so close, and then we can look at pushing into the points and beyond.”

Steve Rodgers - Team Owner

“Not only do we head into the new season on a high after Jason finishing so high up the testing order, but we know that the steps we’ve made with the bike over the winter are an improvement on last year so on paper, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be on the front. Racing is never easy, so we’re expecting a hard fought weekend but the bike went well at Silverstone last year. Hopefully we can get off to a strong start and start the season where we mean to go on.”

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16-04-2019, 01:25 PM
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