News 16 May 2010

Oz MX: Mackenzie and Larsen take Toowoomba victories

Internationals Mackenzie and Larsen win in Queensland, defending champion Marmont takes Pro Open red plate as Larsen reclaims the Lites lead.

Mackenzie won his 'home' round at Toowoomba.

Mackenzie won his 'home' round at Toowoomba.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Billy Mackenzie has won the fourth round of the 2010 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals at Toowoomba QLD on Sunday.

The Scottish rider won two of the three motos to take the round win, while CDR Rockstar Yamaha rider and Wollongong local Jay Marmont has taken the series lead by four points ahead of JDR Motorex KTM’s Tye Simmonds.

Although he qualified fastest, Mackenzie wasn’t the only one showing some impressive speed with four other riders all within one second of his time.

In the first moto, the boy from Bourke, Simmonds, took the holeshot before being overtaken by Mackenzie who was keen to make the most of his home track advantage.

The Kawasaki rider was soon out to an impressive lead, while Simmonds gradually fell through the field back to fourth.

The biggest on-track battle came from former series Leader, Cougar Bourbon Thor Honda Racing’s Todd Waters, and privateer Dean Ferris (Honda).

The two riders were banging bars for most of the moto before an eventual crash from Ferris allowed Waters a clean run into second place leaving the privateer in third.

As the second moto got underway Kiwi and Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki rider Cody Cooper, who has struggled to find form since joining the Australian series took the holeshot, however he was unable to hold onto the lead, soon overtaken by the green freight train of Mackenzie and young-gun Ferris.

While Mackenzie led for the first few laps, Cooper eventually made his way past Ferris and at times was right on the back of the Scott, but was unable to make a pass stick.

Mackenzie managed to hold on to the lead, despite lapped traffic with Cooper wrapping up the moto in second place followed by CDR Rockstar Yamaha rider Cheyne Boyd who finished in third.

The third moto looked to be a repeat of the first two, with Mackenzie soon out to a strong lead, however after a lack-lustre day, Marmont found his form, eventually catching up with the Kawasaki rider.

The two riders went bar-to-bar in and out of the turns, while Simmonds made his charge through the field, until disaster struck for Mackenzie, appearing to stall on one of the turns allowing a now in-rhythm Marmont and charging Simmonds – amongst others, to fly by leaving him in sixth place.

Despite his speed, Simmonds eventually caught Marmont, knowing that the series lead was on the line; however the reigning champion’s experience was too much for Simmonds, with the young rider eventually ceding to the Yamaha star and forced to settle for second place ahead of Ferris.

Waters was the big news of the day, suffering a high-speed crash in moto two, suffering a broken collarbone – believed to be undergoing surgery early this week in a bid to be ready for the Raymond Terrace round.

Larsen reclaimed the red plate with a Pro Lites victory in Queensland.

Larsen reclaimed the red plate with a Pro Lites victory in Queensland.

JDR Motorex KTM team rider PJ Larsen has taken out the fourth round of the Pro Lites championship while Kawasaki Racing Team’s Luke Arbon has won the Under 19’s class.

As qualifying got underway it was Serco Yamaha rider Ford Dale who qualified fastest, less than a second ahead of teammate Kirk Gibbs and Larsen.

Dale, Larsen, and Gibbs were all out to a strong start in the first moto when the race was red-flagged – when racing continued it was the same three riders out in front and when the two sessions were combined, American rider Larsen came out on top, followed by Dale and Gibbs.

In the second moto, Larsen took the holeshot however he was soon overtaken by veteran of the sport and purple-haired Kim Ashkenazi (Suzuki) who was followed by Kawasaki Racing Team’s Cody Mackie.

The three did battle until Mackie crashed and in dropping back through the field he let a number of riders slip by including JDR Motorex KTM’s Ryan Marmont and Kawasaki riding ‘privateer’ and former champ Luke George.

Larsen was out to a massive lead and despite a valiant attempt to reign him in by Marmont, he was too far ahead, forcing him to settle for second ahead of George.

In the third and final moto it all came together for Dale, with the Queensland local catching and passing Larsen on the first lap and holding onto the lead until the chequered flag, with Larsen taking second place and South Australian Gibbs forced to settle for third.

In the Under 19’s class, despite finishing fourth for the round MX Rad Coastal KTM rider Josh Cachia has retained his massive series lead, while South Australia’s Kawasaki Racing Team rider Luke Arbon celebrated his round win, with an impressive 2-1-3 finish.

The fifth round of the 2010 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals will be held on Sunday, 30 May at MX Central at Raymond Terrace in New South Wales.

Click here for detailed results

Billy Mackenzie: “I’m definitely happy with today. For my first ride back I was probably expecting a lot worse considering I haven’t ridden for so long. My wrist is pretty sore, I’m not going to lie, but it did the job today and it’s definitely better than it was at Broadford, so I’m just happy I had the extra time to heal and come back with a win. I really enjoy this track and the team have put a great bike together for me and we’ve had a great day.”

Tye Simmonds: “The first race really let me down. And the second two I didn’t really get the best of starts, but I had fun racing with Jay today – we weren’t giving each other an inch! There were just some little mistakes I made – but it just goes to show how good the racing is and how close we are together and it was a good day.”

Jay Marmont: “It didn’t come together all day for me today. I qualified in eighth and then not getting a good start in that first race and crashing – the spirits were down in the team today with me. The boys were trying to keep my head up and get me positive, and Dacka [Craig Dack] grabbed me by the helmet and told me to go out there and do it this time so I went out there and gave it everything I had. It was good to race one-on-one with Billy, I haven’t seen him all Championship, he’s usually sprinting off at the start and I’m at the other end of the pack, but with Billy and Tye there was some awesome racing out there. I started the series with the red plate and then lost it, so it’s good to have it back again especially coming into one of my home races at Raymond Terrace.”

PJ Larsen: “It’s been a really good weekend. We got four good starts with the red flag in the first moto and we just made it work. I’ll be sticking around in Australia until after the next round at Raymond Terrace and then I’ll fly out back to the US and get three solid weeks of training in. After the last round, the entire team wanted to come out here and do well for Andrew and his family.”

Luke Arbon: “I feel really good right now! I felt good at Canberra and ended up second there but one more step up on the podium is good and I’m happy. I went to hospital at the first round and lost a bunch of points there, but everyone is riding awesomely and it’s going to be tough but there are a lot of races left. Hopefully I can win a few more – when you win you get more points and that’s what I want to do.”