News 25 Aug 2011

Mackenzie reflects on mixed results in his grand prix return

Scotsman Billy Mackenzie enjoyed his motocross grand prix return last weekend.

Scotsman Billy Mackenzie enjoyed his motocross grand prix return last weekend.

Australian motocross number three Billy Mackenzie believes he has what it takes to be a top six regular in the MX1 World Championship, saying he felt comfortable while running within the top three at the British GP last Sunday.

Mackenzie got off to a great start in the first moto at Matterley basin, quickly finding third place and holding his ground behind Steven Frossard and fellow Kawasaki rider Christophe Pourcel.

Mackenzie rode in third place until being passed by world champion Antonio Cairoli on the the lap. Mackenzie, slightly unconditioned to the long race formats, rode to a promising seventh place finish.

“I was really pleased with my result but also a little disappointed,” Mackenzie admitted. “The speed I was running at the beginning while in third place felt very comfortable. I didn’t feel as though I was pushing my limits. I felt like I belonged there.

“I just wanted to ride my own race and be sensible, concentrate on my lines and bring home a solid result as it was my first GP race in two years.

“In hindsight I wish I had maybe pushed harder and tried for a top three result, but I think I proved I can still be a front GP runner and with a little extra race time I can be a consistent top six finisher.”

Mackenzie explained the crash that he was involved in with Tanel Leok in moto two, the crash becoming an instant YouTube sensation as people tuned in to see it from around the globe.

“The crash was very unfortunate and I felt I was riding awesome,” Mackenzie reflected. “I had passed Leok and was working on seventh place. Leok snuck round the inside of me before the quadruple up the hill.

“It was an easy jump to clear and on the run up I fully expected Tanel would clear it. I think he must have decided at the last second to jump the triple and I had already committed to the quad.

“I was in the air when I realised Tanel had tripled, and I was just hoping he would have sprinted out from under me as I was coming down to land.

“He over jumped the triple a little which killed his speed it seems and I landed right on the rear of his bike. We both went down hard and I hit my head and was knocked unconscious.

“I had no other injuries which was incredibly lucky, not even a scratch on me apart from a black eye. I hope Tanel is ok. I feel it was just one of those racing incidents.

“Looking back on the tape there was not much either of us could have done. I don’t like to hesitate on the track, so once I had committed I couldn’t pull out.”

Mackenzie was riding for the British-based LPE Kawasaki team, thankful for the team providing a KX450F for him to compete on during the weekend.

“The bike was awesome,” Mackenzie added. “We had to make a few minor changes to the ECU due to the climate, but together with the help from Monster Energy Kawasaki, the LPE Kawasaki team and my old mechanic Paul Teasdale, we had the bike working fantastic by the time the race rolled around.

“Thanks to everyone who made that race possible, my crew, Monster Energy Kawasaki for supporting my efforts, Steve James and the LPE Kawasaki team for providing such a great relaxed setup at the track, Steve Guttridge for micro managing everything and my family and friends.”

Mackenzie now enjoys some well deserved time off with family and friends in the UK before returning to Australia to contest the 2011 Monster Energy Super X Championship.