Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) rider Billy Mackenzie has made an outstanding SuperX debut to finish equal round leader (2nd overall on count back) at the 6th round of the 2010 Monster Energy SuperX Championship at Parramatta Stadium, Sydney on Saturday 27 November. Lites rider Cody Mackie was very unfortunate not to finish on the podium with a last race crash relegating him to 4th for the night.
Making his return to racing after an injury sustained riding for Monster Energy Kawasaki at the Steel City round of the AMA MX series in early September, KRTs Billy Mackenzie lined up at Parramatta with only 3 weeks of serious supercross training under his belt. Although Billy had raced supercross before in Great Britain, the tracks were not to the scale or calibre of the AMA style tracks at the Monster Energy SuperX.
Mackenzie was in fine form right from the get-go. He qualified comfortably in 6th place before rocketing out of the gates in his heat race. Finding the lead early, Mackenzie raced the majority of the race at the front before being passed in the whoops to take 2nd place and progress easily through to the main event.
Mackenzie came out firing in the four race Quad Challenge format with excellent starts enabling him to find the front early and lead the pack throughout most of the nights racing. With some great results including the third moto win, Mackenzie was in a position to race for the round win heading into the fourth and final race.
The gates dropped and Mackenzie was gone in the final moto, bagging the hole-shot and finding the lead early. Showing far too much form for anybody with such limited supercross experience, the extremely talented Billy Mackenzie was a revelation to watch. This wasn’t a case of good luck, KRT’s Mackenzie was quite simply the quickest rider out there, piloting his KX450F to perfection to lead the likes of Hansen, Reardon, Alessi, Moss and Marmont. A small crash on the last lap of the race was not what Billy had in plan however before the big Sydney crowd had finished gasping, Mackenzie was already back on his KX450F and racing to salvage a top three finish. Results of 2-9-1-2 throughout the four races gave Mackenzie equal points lead for the night but officially second place on count back.
A satisfied Billy Mackenzie says. “I’m actually a little bit nervous now because I have to do it all again next week. It kind of feels like maybe I fluked it tonight but I know I didn’t because I rode really well. The practise I’ve had leading up to this event hasn’t been the greatest so I was just happy to get on a nice smooth track that was well prepared and suited my riding style.”
“Troy helped me get the Kawasaki set up good during the week and I think that really helped a lot tonight. My fitness was there and I came away tied for 1st. I really thought I had it but….(that) happens.”
With the tail riders being eliminated after each of the races in the Survival format for the Lites class, Cody Mackie and Luke Arbon couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, a lesson learned the hard way by Arbon who was knocked out in the second race to take 15th overall for the night. With some very good racing, Cody Mackie found himself amongst the final five in the final race. A podium wasn’t to be however with Mackie crashing and having to settle for 4th place (where he also sits in the Championship).
Cody Mackie says, “The cards didn’t fall my way at the end. They did all the way up until then. I did well to get into the final five. I know I’m riding well enough, I won the 2 lap dash in the Manufacturers Challenge tonight but just the final race didn’t go to plan. I’m looking forward to Brisbane. I owe the team and myself a podium and I want to get that at the final round.”
KRT Manager Troy Carroll was elated with the good results for the team saying, “I’m completely amazed at what Billy’s achieved tonight. It was something special to see. This was his first SuperX event and the team couldn’t be happier with the way he rode tonight. I’m just really looking forward to next weekend.”
KRT riders Billy Mackenzie, Cody Mackie and Luke Arbon head north this week for the final round of the 2010 Monster Energy SuperX Championship at Brisbane’s QSAC Stadium on Saturday 4 December.