(Images by Shayne Rice) Monster Energy Kawasaki riders Billy Mackenzie and Dean Ferris dominated the 4th round of the Australian Motocross Championship at Murray Bridge, SA on Sunday 8 May winning all four of the 450 motos. Billy Mackenzie returned to form after a couple of injury hampered rounds to win three of the four motos, taking the overall easily. Team mate Dean Ferris overcame a tough first race to finish top two in the remaining motos. A race win helped him to 2nd overall for the round and returns the series leading Red Plate to the front of his KX450F.
Three weeks of sitting on the couch nursing a cracked shoulder and fractured ribs was not the perfect preparation for Billy Mackenzie heading into the 4th round at Murray Bridge. It didn’t appear to have any negative affect on his performance though. With the pain gone and the majority of movement returned, Mackenzie came out firing in SA. Even without 100% fitness and desired bike time under his belt, Mackenzie threw down a blisteringly fast lap time straight up with nobody coming within 1.3 seconds for the remainder of the session.
Mackenzie was in a class of his own at Murray Bridge. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider hole-shotted two races and led the entirety of three of the four main event motos within the opening lap. The only race he didn’t win he came third after running slightly wide on the final lap trying to overtake team-mate Dean Ferris who took the race win. Mackenzie’s 1-1-3-1 results were more than good enough for the overall for the day and moves him to 3rd in the Championship, only 17 points behind the series leader, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Dean Ferris.
A happy Billy Mackenzie says, “It’s just great to win again. The bike worked so well, it was awesome! I felt comfortable all day and I felt fit. I was a little depressed after the last couple of rounds but clawing back so many points today has really given me new motivation. I’m having fun again and can’t wait for Toowoomba!”
Dean Ferris overcame a tough first moto to claw back enough points to take 2nd for the round and reclaim the series leading Red Plate, the second time he has held it this year. Ferris faced an uphill battle in the opening moto finding himself in last place after stalling his bike on the start gate. Ferris clawed his way back magnificently to take 10th. Ferris then took 2nd in the next race, sitting on the back tyre of team-mate Mackenzie for the entirety before hole-shotting and winning the third moto. Another 2nd in the final moto, again biting at the Michelin rubber on the back wheel of team mate Mackenzie’s KX450F was good enough for 2nd overall for the round and 1st in the Championship.
An excited Dean Ferris says, “I stalled the bike in the first race but once I got my starts dialled I was top two off the start and finished top two. It’s great to have the Red Plate back on the bike. I’m so fortunate to have the help of Monster Energy Kawasaki throughout the day. I’m stoked with the bike. Billy and I were really having a good flow. It was a really good day and I’m excited to be on the podium for the third round in a row.”
Lites rider Phil Nicoletti was unable to capitalise on four weeks of positive and successful bike set-up and training with an aggressive stomach virus rocking his weekend. A heavy crash on the first turn of the opening moto didn’t help his cause either. Very ill, Nicoletti did well to even line up for his four motos managing 16-5-10-19 for 13th overall for the round.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager Troy Carroll says, “The sight of Monster Energy Kawasaki bikes in 1,2 formation for almost the entirety of three of the four 450 motos is a sight I think I can get used to. The fact that Monster Energy Kawasaki led the entirety of each race from within the first lap speaks volumes about the talent of the riders, the commitment of the team and the Kawasaki KX bikes. It’s great to win every moto like we did and it’s great to have Billy back. We put a lot of work in in the time off so it’s great to get these results. We now hope to further our points lead at Toowoomba. A big thank you to Kawasaki, Monster Energy, the mechanics and the sponsors for enabling these results.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki looks forward to the fifth round of the Championship. The team heads back to Toowoomba, QLD for a home round in front of loyal family, friends and fans on Sunday 22 May.