Motorcycling: Mackenzie expects fierce title challenge

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The Independent Online
NIALL MacKENZIE begins his attempt at a hat-trick of British Superbike titles tomorrow in the opening round at Brands Hatch against a posse of challengers who will push the 36-year-old Scot to the limit.

Mackenzie continues with the Cadbury's Boost Yamaha team for a third season and though confident, admitted: "It does not get any easier - this will be a hard year because the strength of the championship is improving all of the time."

Steve Hislop, a former champion, pairs up with Mackenzie to give Yamaha a formidable starting line-up for the 24-race series. But the opposition - ranging from the Red Bull Ducati pair of John Reynolds and Sean Emmett to Suzuki's Terry Rymer and James Haydon plus the Kawasaki-mounted Iain Macpherson and Chris Walker, last year's runner-up in the title race - is strong and pre- season testing suggests the pressure will be on the Yamaha pair.