News 28 Mar 2010

Oz MX: Internationals star at Horsham Motocross opener

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Billy MacKenzie won the Pro Opens class at the first round of the 2010 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals at Horsham in Victoria today, with PJ Larsen winning the Lites and Josh Cachia winning the Under 19s.

MacKenzie won on debut in Australia for Kawasaki.

MacKenzie won on debut in Australia for Kawasaki.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Billy MacKenzie won the Pro Opens class at the first round of the 2010 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals at Horsham in Victoria today.

With anticipation at fever pitch leading into the first round of the Series, fans were not disappointed with riders taking the races down to the wire.

Scottish import MacKenzie was the fastest in qualifying ahead of JDR Motorex KTM’s Andrew McFarlane and Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor Racing’s Todd Waters.

As racing got underway in the first moto, McFarlane scored the holeshot, however, he was quickly overtaken by Mackenzie, with the two riders tussling for the lead while Waters, and Dean Ferris (Honda) battled it out for third place.

The front four riders began to break away, while reigning Champ, CDR Rockstar Yamaha’s Jay Marmont struggled back in seventh place.

After a few laps, Waters closed the gap on Mackenzie and the two battled for the lead and by the end of the race, Waters was clear – taking the moto win ahead of MacKenzie, with McFarlane riding into third.

Race two threw out a few surprises with Simon Thompson (Honda) off to a blinder of a start followed closely behind by Ferris and MacKenzie, however, the dream start didn’t hold for Thompson, and he was soon overtaken.

Ferris rode on the edge for the entire moto with the lead swapping between him and MacKenzie countless times, before he succumbed to pressure from the Scott and put his bike down with one lap to go.

Larsen won the Pro Lites for JDR Motorex KTM.

Larsen won the Pro Lites for JDR Motorex KTM.

MacKenzie took the flag, while Ferris managed to salvage second place ahead of Waters, who rode consistently into third place.

By the time the third and final moto got under way the rain had set in, creating some slippery conditions on the already rough, and carved up track.

After a lacklustre day, the crowd finally got so see some of Marmont’s magic, with the blue bike rider taking not only the holeshot, but also dominating for the entire race.

Meanwhile Mackenzie was caught up in a first turn crash, and had to set about working his way back from last place.

The rougher the track became, the better Marmont rode and despite some early pressure from Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki’s Cody Cooper, he had a 35 second lead by the chequered flag.

Marmont finished the moto ahead of JDR Motorex KTM’s Tye Simmonds, who also found form in the final moto for second place, and MacKenzie who rode a strong race to finish in third.

JDR Motorex KTM Rider PJ Larsen took out the Pro Lites class, while MX Rad Coastal KTM rider Josh Cachia, has won the Under 19s class.

American rider Larsen continued the international dominance of the series opener, qualifying fastest in the Pro Lites class ahead of Serco Yamaha rider Ford Dale and Luke George (Kawasaki), who made his official return to Nationals racing following a massive crash at the final round of the series in 2009.

In race one it was veteran rider Cameron Taylor (Yamaha) who scored the holeshot, however the moto soon became a one-man-show, with Larsen continuing his strong form from qualifying, dominating the race from start to finish.

Larson was followed out by teammate Ryan Marmont, who, after a slow two years, was consistently quick, and after initially keeping pace, rode his own race in second place to the flag.

Cachia had a solid day for the victory in the Under 19s.

Cachia had a solid day for the victory in the Under 19s.

Meanwhile the keenly anticipated return to racing of George didn’t go exactly to plan for the Kawasaki rider, with the 20-year-old starting out strongly behind Marmont in third place, however as the moto continued, fell back through the field to finish the race in eighth place.

With the drizzling rain making the track slippery, it was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Codie Mackie who took an early lead in the second moto, ahead of Serco Yamaha’s rider Kirk Gibbs.

The race soon became at battle between Mackie and Gibbs, with Marmont comfortable in third place.

Kawasaki’s Mackie led the majority of the race until the final moments of the last lap, when the South Australian Serco rider overtook to take the flag while Marmont continued his improved form and took third place.

In the third moto, George had a flying start out of the gates however he was soon overtaken by Larsen.

The American soon established a massive lead ahead of Darryl King (Yamaha) and Yamaha Junior Development Team’s Luke Styke, who held on to take third place at the flag.

In the Under 19s, MX Rad Coastal KTM rider Cachia dominated proceedings, qualifying fastest and winning the first two motos. Cachia only came unstuck in the final moto, when he crashed in the first turn and was forced pick his way back from last place.

New Zealander and Raceline Pirelli Suzuki rider Hamish Dobbyn took advantage of the Series leaders misfortune and streaked ahead to a massive win, while Cachia managed to pick his way through to sixth place.

Billy Mackenzie: “It’s a good way to start the season. I was a little bit upset with my performance in the first race and I also had a small problem in that last race – I went to let the clutch out and the bike was in neutral! So it was my own fault, and I also went down so I made it hard for myself, but I liked the track today. There’s been such a good atmosphere ever since I got here, I’m enjoying Australia, and I’m just enjoying riding my bike again. I had a bad year last year and I just came here to get refreshed and it’s definitely working.”

Todd Waters: “Dude, I was struggling out there! In that last race the mud really got me and I crashed twice and but I ended up settling in. I was just sort of trying to get up there, but I ended up finishing ok and got second overall so I’m pumped. Only time will tell if I can carry this momentum through the rest of the Series, but I’m going to give it my all just like my team.”

Jay Marmont:
“It’s been a very hard day. Last night we were pumping in the cold and flu tablets, and I knew it was going to be a tough day and then the rain set in. I made that second race hard for myself, crashing on the last lap, but I brought it home strong in that last one and it’s almost like trial riding out there it was so slippery – it was like riding on ice. But I didn’t get roosted, and at the end of the day I got some good points and I’m looking forward to going to the next round.”

PJ Larsen:
“Today was a really good day. In the first moto I came from a long way back to win it and my teammate came second. In the second moto I had a few crashes and a bad start, but I had the holeshot to start with and ended up 11th. So coming into the third moto I just thought I needed to ride smart and that’s what I did. The team has gone one and two this round, and it’s a great way to start the season.”

Josh Cachia:
“I had the same feeling as I did last year coming into the first round, and I pretty much put down the same results and hopefully by the end of the year I can put a whole season together and come out with a Championship win. In the last moto, I went down in the first corner and was in last place, but my team did a really good job of telling me what position I needed to get to, in order to get the overall. I ended up crashing three times in that race, but my consistency in the other races got me the overall and I’m stoked!”

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