Former Bennetts British Superbike Champions, McAMS Yamaha, have turned to Lincolnshire’s Tim Neave to replace the outgoing Tarran Mackenzie who looks set for the World Superbike stage in 2023.
It was announced on Friday that Mackenzie wouldn’t be back for a seventh year with the Fleetwood based outfit, which has left a hole to be filled on the Yamaha R1 – the motorcycle that’s guided Taz and Bradley Ray to the last two titles.
And after a solid season in the National Superstock Championship, where he finished seventh in the overall standings, despite an horrific mid-season testing injury, Tim Neave has been granted the chance to replace the 2021 Champion.
Neave is no stranger to the blue-ribband class after making his debut back in 2021 at his home round of Cadwell Park with the Buildbase Suzuki team. He surprised many with his pace, with no prior testing, securing points in all three races.
However, 2023 will be his first full season in the Superbike class as he teams up with the official Yamaha Motor UK squad, lining up alongside Jason O’Halloran.
The former flat-tracker made a strong start to the 2022 season in the McAMS Yamaha sister squad, and after victory at round one at Silverstone he looked set to dominate the Superstock class. However, following a freak accident at a mid-season test at Knockhill, he suffered a badly broken pelvis ruling him out for two rounds.
He would then shock the paddock and return to racing just a matter of months later, taking to the podium once more at Snetterton. He would then be handed the Marc Fincham award at the end of the season, recognising his come back from injury. Neave will get his first taste of the fully blown Superbike in Spain later on this month.
“To get the call up to ride for McAMS Yamaha is a dream come true,” Neave said.
“When I signed to ride for the team last year, in the back of my mind I was thinking if I could do a really good job on the Superstock bike and a seat became available, it would be the dream but I didn’t think it would actually happen!
“Raceways are one of, if not the best teams in the paddock – they’ve certainly won more races than anyone else in recent years so I can’t think of a better team to step up into BSB with.
“I loved riding the R1 Superstock bike, it really suited me as a rider and from what Jason has told me, the Superbike has similar characteristics so I’m looking forward to getting out on it for the first time. Bennetts BSB is one of the toughest classes in racing, but I’ll give it my everything to make sure this opportunity isn’t wasted on me.”
Team owner Steve Rodgers added: “When Tim joined the team to race the Superstock bike in 2022 we were all really impressed by him. Not only was he super quick straightaway, but his attitude and the way he went about things meant that he fit in to the team immediately.
“There’s no doubt had the Knockhill accident, which wasn’t his fault, not occurred, he’d have continued to fight for the Superstock title. When he was fit, he was super-fast on the R1 and the Superstock bike has a lot of similarities to the Superbike, including the fact that we couldn’t run any traction control on the stocker, so the jump isn’t as big as it is with some other manufacturers. There’s still a lot to learn, but we are confident he’ll pick it up and look forward to seeing what he can achieve.”
Rumours are circulating that Mackenzie is set to join the MIE Honda team in the World Superbike paddock, however it remains to be announced whether he’ll be racing in the Superbike or Supersport class.