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It was a tough day at the office for Monster Energy Kawasaki at the 8th round of the Australian Motocross Championship at Moree, NSW on Sunday 24 July. Although the team were put on the ropes at Moree, they are already looking forward to the battle next weekend with both Opens riders, Billy Mackenzie and Dean Ferris still well and truly in Championship winning contention.

After team riders Dean Ferris and Phil Nicoletti qualified in pole in the Opens and Lites classes respectively, race crashes were to rob the team of any silverware for the round. Billy Mackenzie finished the day in 6th in the Opens class. Phil Nicoletti took 7th in the Lites class while Opens rider, Dean Ferris, will have to have his fingers pried from the series leading Red Plate he’s held continuously since the 4thrd round of the series with a DNF and a DNS leaving him in 11th for the round and 3rd in the Series.

Billy Mackenzie

Billy Mackenzie’s day got off on the right foot when the Scotsman qualified in 3rd place in the Opens class. A solid 4th place in the opening moto got his points haul off to a good start however a crash in the second moto dashed his chances of a podium finish for the day. Mackenzie took away results of 4-20-3-8 for 6th overall for the round. Mackenzie sits in 4th place in the Championship, 44 points off the series leader with one weekend of racing to go.

Billy Mackenzie says, “My main problem today was my starts and crashes. We also took a gamble with a new bike set-up, I thought we were at that point in the series. The engine changes were awesome but I struggled with the suspension changes. We went in a direction that wasn’t right. We took a gamble and it didn’t pay off. I’ll revert back to my previous suspension set-up and come out strong at Coolum. I rode really well at Coolum last year winning four of the six motos. If I can put on a similar show next weekend, then I’ll be a serious Championship contender at the final round.”

Phil Nicoletti

Phil Nicoletti was on the pace at Moree. He qualified fastest in the Lites class and showed he was the rider to beat. Nicoletti got a good start in the first moto and rode smart to take 2nd. A crash however in the second moto resulting in a DNF put the brakes on what should have been a successful round for the American rider. Although he managed strong finishes in the afternoon’s races, the absence of points in the second moto proved too costly. Nicoletti took 2-DNF-3-4 for 7th overall for the round. He sits in 4th place in the Championship.

Phil Nicoletti says, “It was a disappointing day for the whole green team. I was the fastest Lites guy out there today but being the fastest doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to win. I should’ve won the first moto but a small tip-over put me back to 10th. I rode well to come through for 2nd. Then in the second moto, a rider crossed from one side of the track to the other in front of me and I hit him wide open in 4th gear. That put me on the floor gasping for breath and with banged up ribs. I rode pretty good in the afternoon considering but another small tip-over cost me again. Although my Championship looks to be over I’m planning on finishing the season with a win at Coolum.”

Dean Ferris

Opens rider Dean Ferris will put it all on the line at Coolum this weekend after a DNS and a DNF at Moree hampered his Championship aspirations. Ferris qualified in pole position and came out strong in the first moto, quickly finding the lead and taking charge. A small put-down in the dying stages of the race put him back but he still rallied for a 3rd place finish. Another 3rd place in the second moto yielded Ferris more precious Championship points however his day came to an end in the third race. After grabbing the hole-shot in the third moto on his KX450F, Ferris stalled his bike in a deep rut on the opening lap, putting him back to last. From there he fought hard to get himself back inside the top ten. While trying to make a pass on another rider, Ferris washed out his front wheel on a turn and went down hard. Coughing up blood and with a sore hand, Ferris was transported to hospital before being discharged later that afternoon, albeit too late to salvage points from the last race. The absence of points from two motos means Ferris’ KX450F will relinquish the Series leading Red Plate that it’s proudly worn for more than half the Series however Ferris is optimistic that a good performance at the final round will still be enough to save his Championship.

Dean Ferris says, “It sux. I’m so disappointed. I was coming into a fast turn and the front end washed out. I pinned it to try and save it but got cross rutted and ended up getting slammed into the ground. I knew if I got up and made the last race that I still had a chance to get points and save the round but the pain was so great and I had to go to hospital. I’m still coughing up blood today (Monday) but it’s getting better. My hand is pretty sore and I’ll see a specialist tomorrow to sort it out. I’m focussed on Coolum this weekend and will do everything I need to win this Championship.”

Dean Ferris

 

Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager Troy Carroll says, “It was obviously a disappointing day for the whole team today. We just have to go to Coolum and win as many races as we can. We’ve been backed into a corner, watch us come out swinging!”

Phil Nicoletti

 

Monster Energy Kawasaki will head to Coolum with ambitions of a Championship win and nothing else. With both Dean Ferris and Billy Mackenzie within striking distance of the Series title, both riders will lay it all on the line at the Coolum track, a track the team dominated at last year, in their bid to become the 2011 Motocross Champion!

(Images by Shayne Rice)

Dean Ferris and mechanic Ben Lane

 

2011 Australian MX Nationals
Round 8 Results:
Pro Open
1. Josh Coppins (Yamaha) 94
2. Jay Marmont (Yamaha) 94
3. Todd Waters (Honda) 70
4. Lawson Bopping (Suzuki) 58
5. Cheyne Boyd (Honda) 58
6. BILLY MACKENZIE (MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI) 52
7. Cody Cooper (Suzuki) 51
8. Jamie Law (KTM) 48
9. Louis Calvin (KTM) 45
10. Michael Phillips (Honda) 45

11. DEAN FERRIS (MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI) 40
Pro Lites
1. Kirk Gibbs (Yamaha) 89
2. Kade Mosig (Honda) 79
3. Brenden Harrison (KTM) 71
4. Cody Mackie (Honda) 69
5. Josh Cachia (KTM) 65
6. Matt Moss (KTM) 64
7. PHIL NICOLETTI (MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI) 60
8. Daniel McCoy (Suzuki) 51
9. Luke Styke (Yamaha) 48
10. Keiron Hall (Honda) 47
Championship Standings (after 8 of 9 rounds):
Pro Open
1. Josh Coppins 603
2. Jay Marmont 585
3. DEAN FERRIS 563
4. BILLY MACKENZIE 559
5. Cheyne Boyd 494
6. Michael Phillips 460
7. Lawson Bopping 433
8. Cody Cooper 395
9. Louis Calvin 313
10. Daniel Reardon 226
Motul Pro Lites
1. Matt Moss 567
2. Kirk Gibbs 534
3. Brenden Harrison 478
4. PHIL NICOLETTI 477
5. Daniel McCoy 461
6. Kade Mosig 440
7. Josh Cachia 423
8. Cody Mackie 419
9. Justin McDonald 403
10. Luke Styke 372

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