MotoCross > 2008 Round 01: Benelux > Race Results
WMXFlandersApril 6 , 2008
2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 01
Grand Prix of Benelux - VALKENSWAARD, Netherlands

Billy McKenzie CAS Honda CRF450R takes fourth at Valkenswaard

Billy MacKenzie's CAS Honda MX1 grand prix debut saw the Scotsman - who will celebrate his 24th birthday tomorrow - just miss out on a podium position as he finished in fourth place overall at the opening race of the MX1 season after two grueling 35 minute plus two lap motos at the Valkenswaard circuit situated 10 kilometers from the Dutch city of Eindhoven.

Billy MacKenzie

Mark DeRuever

MacKenzie started his weekend as he meant to go on as he posted fourth place in Saturday's qualifying session - a session dominated by local Dutch and Belgian riders who excel in the deep sand conditions found at the Valkenswaard circuit.

Gating well on the factory CRF450R Honda MacKenzie ran second in the early part of the first moto until a few small rider errors and an unlucky encounter with a lapped rider saw him slip to 10th place. Keen to make amends in moto two, MacKenzie forced the CAS Honda through the battling pack and into second place on the opening lap which is where he stayed for the remainder of the race finishing behind the Belgian rider Ken De Dycker who took a double victory on the day.

Team-mate Mike Brown had a tougher time of it in Valkenswaard eventually finishing 11th overall after posting a 15-13 scorecard in the deep sandy conditions he considers to be amongst his least favorite.

After setting second position in timed qualifying Martin Honda's flying Dutchman Marc De Reuver struggled to get off the line in moto one and found himself having to battle through the pack from just outside the top-10. Reaching seventh De Reuver who, by his own admission, was riding a little tight slipped off in a tricky left hand corner and lost several places as a result. After battling back to eighth in moto one De Reuver was fired up for a better result in the second race but bad luck struck and a freak chain breakage on the second straight ended his race somewhat early.

Martin Honda's Swiss rider Julien Bill struggled in the sandy conditions ending the day pointless but he battled hard throughout both races and progressed immensely during the day.

The world championship now pauses for one free weekend before continuing at Bellpuig for the Grand Prix of Spain on April 20.

Mark DeRuever

Mike Brown

Roger Harvey - Honda Off-Road coordinator
"Qualifying went well for the riders and that was a very encouraging start to the weekend. Marc De Reuver was a little bit nervous in the first race but he was under a tremendous amount of pressure with this being his home grand prix and he rode reasonably well considering. I'm very disappointed with the second race though when his chain broke.”

"We already knew that Julien Bill doesn't like sand and he never rides in it so he did well to just keep plugging along all day and he kept going to the finish in both races which was okay."

"Billy MacKenzie made some silly mistakes in the first race and was lucky not to get nailed by Ramon when he crashed on the finish line jump. In the second race he was excellent even though he made some small errors that lost him time. I'm quite happy that he's joint fourth overall in the world championship and he's got something to build on in Spain and Portugal.”

"Mike Brown plugged away and scored points in both motos - a good consistent start to the series for him."

Billy MacKenzie - CAS Honda
"Qualifying was good and there were four or five of us all on the same second and the of other riders are considered to be sand specialists so I was pumped with that. I knew fourth place was good and so I was pretty confident going into the races.”

"I rode a bit tight in the first race but was running well in second. I was riding tight and the guys were catching me because I was riding tensely and so I got a bit nervous and made a few small mistakes and ended up down in fifth.

"I caught up to Chiodi who I was lapping and he held me up for a about half a lap so I got a little impatient and tried to pass him in a silly place and crashed. The throttle tube got pushed down the handlebars and when I restarted the bike the throttle was sticking wide open so I had to sort that out before I could carry on. I got arm pump after that and ended up 10th, which I wasn't so happy about but I knew my second races are always better. "

"I didn't get a great start but moved up into second place by the end of the lap seven though I lost the front end and crashed. I could see Ken De Dycker ahead of me so I pushed hard and was able to put in very consistent lap times all through the race. At the end I was only eight seconds behind Ken, which I'm pumped with considering it's a sand race. To get fourth place at Valkenswaard is pretty good for a British rider."

Mike Brown - CAS Honda
"Considering the conditions it went pretty well - I usually struggle in stuff like this a little bit. It was only the first race and there are still a lot of races to go, it went about as well as the first race last year except this time I didn't get any arm pump so that's a good sign. Overall it went alright but of course I'm not happy unless I win but I did the best I could and that's all anyone can ask for."

Marc De Reuver - Martin Honda
"Everything was going so well on Saturday and I was so relaxed and almost took pole position and finished second after only doing three laps. This morning in warm-up I was fastest and I felt ready for the races.”

"At the start of the first race I was sleeping a little bit at the start gate and I was very nervous in the early part of the race which meant I was riding very tight. My arms were very pumped up so I had to ease my pace because I thought I might have a big crash if I did not back off.”

"I was more relaxed for the second race but after two straights the chain broke and that was it! I thought I had hit a false neutral but I clicked up and still no drive I looked down and saw no chain, man I was gutted, the last time I broke a chain was when I was riding in the 60cc class, its such a freak thing to happen. That's motocross though and now I have to look forward to Spain because today was not my day."

Julien Bill - Martin Honda
"I didn't have such a good lap time in Saturday's qualifying time and I was only 16th but I knew that with a good start I could get a good result. Unfortunately I didn't get such a good start in the first moto and then I crashed on the second lap and twisted my handlebar. I couldn't ride as I wanted to and I didn't finish in the points.”

"In moto two I started right on the outside and I got a great start but I had a problem with my tear-offs - I couldn't pull them - and I was struggling to see the ruts so well. I was actually riding better than in the first race but still not fast enough. I crashed a couple of times and finished out of the points again. Next time will be much better, I'm a better hardpack rider and I'll be up with the front guys in Spain for sure."

2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 01
Grand Prix of Benelux - VALKENSWAARD, Netherlands

MX1 Race 1
1 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
2 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
3 Ramon, Steve (Suzuki)
4 Philippaerts, David (Yamaha)
5 Priem, Manuel (Kawasaki)
6 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
7 Strijbos, Kevin (Kawasaki)
8 de Reuver, Marc (Honda)
9 Nemeth, Kornel (KTM)
10 Mackenzie, Billy (Honda)
11 Leok, Tanel (Kawasaki)
12 Leok, Aigar (Yamaha)
13 Verhoeven, Bas (Kawasaki)
14 van Daele, Marvin (Suzuki)
15 Brown, Mike (Honda)
MX1 Race 2
1 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
2 Mackenzie, Billy (Honda)
3 Barragan, Jonathan (KTM)
4 Ramon, Steve (Suzuki)
5 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
6 Philippaerts, David (Yamaha)
7 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
8 Priem, Manuel (Kawasaki)
9 Nemeth, Kornel (KTM)
10 Leok, Aigar (Yamaha)
11 Desalle, Clement (Suzuki)
12 Schiffer, Marcus (KTM)
13 Brown, Mike (Honda)
14 Strijbos, Kevin (Kawasaki)
15 Church, Tom (Kawasaki)

Billy MacKenzie
MX2 Race 1
1 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
2 Cairoli, Antonio (Yamaha)
3 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
4 Eggens, Erik (Suzuki)
5 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
6 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
7 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
8 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
9 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
10 Roelants, Joel (KTM)
11 Tarroux, Jeremy (KTM)
12 Boissiere, Anthony (KTM)
13 Krestinov, Gert (KTM)
14 van de Ven, Rinus (KTM)
15 Guarneri, Davide (Yamaha)
MX2 Race 2
1 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
2 Cairoli, Antonio (Yamaha)
3 Eggens, Erik (Suzuki)
4 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
5 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
6 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
7 Sword, Stephen (Kawasaki)
8 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
9 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
10 Roelants, Joel (KTM)
11 Guarneri, Davide (Yamaha)
12 Monni, Manuel (Yamaha)
13 Kras, Mike (Suzuki)
14 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
15 Paulin, Gautier (Kawasaki)

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