Moto Media
James Stewart

Motorcycling Australia's Broadford race reports

Scotsman Billy Mackenzie has taken victory in the opening round of the 2011 Australian Motocross Championship, contested in treacherous conditions at Broadford, Victoria on Sunday.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider won the premier Pro Open category after four gruelling back-to-back 15-minute motos, with 1-2-3-2 results to clinch the overall by 18 points.

Following a dry qualifying session in supreme weather conditions, a massive storm ripped through Broadford’s State Motorcycle Sport Complex as the Open class proceedings got underway, leaving riders to negotiate tricky conditions to complete the round.

Mackenzie avoided the carnage to race to the Pro Open overall, the perfect way to open up his season and he’s confident he’ll be a title contender throughout the nine-round series.

"It’s a great start to the season for me,” the 26-year-old beamed.

"I hoped for better conditions, but these technical conditions suit my style.

"I’ve been training hard over the summer and I feel ready for the year ahead.

"Hopefully we have better conditions next time so we can all push and see what everyone’s got in the dry.”

The top two had an international feel, with Kiwi Rockstar Motul Suzuki rider Cody Cooper overcoming a dreadful start to make a late run courtesy of some inspired riding.

In a determined effort, Cooper was able to claw himself back onto the podium with a pair of stunning victories in the final two motos of the day, scoring 7-14-1-1 race results for the round.

"Qualifying was awesome, but when it started raining real hard I got two terrible starts in races one and two,” Cooper explained.

"For the final motos I got good starts and checked out, really. I’m happy with second overall and we’ll progress from here.”

First Australian home in the Open class was standout 21-year-old rookie Lawson Bopping, the Pirelli Raceline Suzuki rider’s day highlighted by a popular victory in race two.

Bopping finished with 4-1-2 results in the opening three races, before a flat tyre in the fourth and final race forced him to settle for 16th.

"I’m stoked to be on the podium overall – third is an awesome start,” Bopping said.

"I thought it was going to be hot but then it rained really hard, so I’m just pumped to be on the podium.”

Victorian favourite Cheyne Boyd finished a fine fourth overall in his debut for Carlton Dry Honda Racing, taking advantage of a consistent effort, but missing out on the podium by just one point.

A single point further back was another debutant in the Open class, with Ryan Marmont (JDR Motorex KTM) rounding out the top five after an exceptional second place in race one marked his best performance of the round.

Marmont’s elder brother Jay, who is the defending three-time MX Nationals champion, had to settle for ninth overall to commence his 2011 title defence, the 27-year-old now looking to rebound at round two next month.

2011 Australian Motocross Championship
Round One – Broadford, VIC

Pro Open Results:
1. Billy Mackenzie (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 89 points
2. Cody Cooper (Rockstar Motul Suzuki) 71
3. Lawson Bopping (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 70
4. Cheyne Boyd (Carlton Dry Honda Racing) 69
5. Ryan Marmont (JDR Motorex KTM) 68
6. Dean Ferris (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 63
7. Josh Coppins (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 52
8. Louis Calvin (Herb Watson Racing KTM) 51
9. Jay Marmont (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 47
10. Michael Phillips (Carlton Dry Honda Racing) 44

Moss marks MX return with win.

Matt Moss marked his return to Australian Motocross in stunning fashion, taking out the first round of the Pro Lites Championship at a testing State Motorcycle Complex in Broadford.

In his first MX Nationals appearance since taking out the Pro Lites championship in 2009, JDR Motorex KTM’s Matt Moss was able to score a hard-fought victory in the Motul Pro Lites class to kick off the season.

Consistency was the key for 22-year-old Moss in his return to Australia after a season in the U.S, taking 1-2-2-1 results in the four races held over seven laps at Broadford.

"I feel great – I was able to win two races and get second in the other pair,” Moss commented.

"It’s my first race on the KTM and they’ve done an exceptional job.

"They’ve scored 1-2-3 on the box so hats off to JDR Motorex KTM.”

Moss headed a KTM clean-sweep of the podium, joined by teammates Brenden Harrison and 19-year-old Kilmore local Josh Cachia – the reigning Under 19s champion who was able to win race three in his Pro Lites debut.

Queensland rising star Harrison, returning from a broken femur, finished with 3-5-5-3 results, enough for him to edge out Cachia’s 2-17-1-6 results with a crash on the opening lap of race two costing the Victorian.

Behind the trio of KTMs in fourth was New South Wales-based Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda’s Cody Mackie in another consistent effort, while American import Phil Nicoletti finished fifth overall for Monster Energy Kawasaki in his Australian debut.

Moto two winner Ford Dale, the Serco Yamaha rider who qualified fastest this morning, finished ninth overall after taking fifth in moto one and 13th in moto four. He was forced out of the third moto after he suffered a broken chain.

Moss now holds a 22-point lead in the series following round one of nine.

The Pirelli Under 19s category was won by GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha rider Luke Arbon, commencing his title campaign with 2-1-1-2 results across the four six-lap races contested during the weekend.

"My lead in to the championship hasn’t been the greatest since I’ve had a few injuries to my back,” Arbon admitted.

"But I was able to race to the best of my ability, won two races out of four and I couldn’t be happier. Consistency will be important this year and I think if I can do that then I’ll be right there for the championship.”

Arbon won ahead of Raceline Pirelli Suzuki’s Erroll Willis, who finished with 1-2-5-4 results, while Arbon’s teammate Shaun Redhead rounded out the podium with a consistent season opener.

Race four of the Under 19s was won by Jacob Wright, the former junior champion winning on debut for Honda Australia in his satellite role.

The series will now return to Sydney at the Appin circuit in New South Wales for round two on 3 April.

Motul Pro Lites Results:
1. Matt Moss (JDR Motorex KTM) 94 points
2. Brenden Harrison (JDR Motorex KTM) 72
3. Josh Cachia (JDR Motorex KTM) 66
4. Cody Mackie (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda) 60
5. Phil Nicoletti (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 57
6. Kirk Gibbs (Serco Yamaha) 55
7. Daniel McCoy (Rockstar Motul Suzuki) 52
8. Kade Mosig (Berry Sweet Strawberries Lucas Oil Honda)
9. Ford Dale (Serco Yamaha) 49
10. Luke Styke (Yamaha) 46

Pirelli Under 19s Results:
1. Luke Arbon (GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 94 points
2. Errol Willis (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 81
3. Shaun Redhead (GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 58
4. Jacob Mcleod (Grayson Sontor Motorcycles Yamaha) 57
5. Jacob Wright (Honda Australia) 54