MotoCross > 2008 Round 03: Portugal > Race Results
WMXPortugalApril 27, 2008
2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 03
Grand Prix of Portugal, Agueda

CAS Hondas Billy MacKenzie retains fourth in MX1 Championship with solid performance at Agueda

After an abundance of rain and mud in Spain, the sunny skies and baking hot temperatures at Agueda made the Portuguese Grand Prix a much more pleasurable experience for everyone involved at round three of the FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship. As well as the conditions improving so did the performances of the CAS Honda and Honda Martin team riders with Billy MacKenzie, Mike Brown and Marc De Reuver all able to pack themselves into the top 10 of the overall results while Julien Bill suffered and struggled all day with an injured finger.

Billy MacKenzie Billy MacKenzie

Billy MacKenzie

Billy MacKenzie

Sebastien Pourcel was the overall winner in the MX1 class this weekend with a 2-1 scorecard, the Frenchman also set the fastest lap during Saturday’s timed practice session. Pourcel didn’t have it all his own way during qualifying though as both De Reuver and MacKenzie sat in pole position for a while before Pourcel set an even faster lap in the dying seconds of the 30-minute session. MacKenzie finally finished second, De Reuver fifth, Brown 18th and Bill 20th.

Under sunny skies on Sunday, it was Spaniard Jonathan Barragan who took the holeshot in moto one but a charging MacKenzie soon took over the lead before a dose of arm pump ruined the Scotsman’s concentration and caused him to make a string of small mistakes. Billy slipped to fourth at the finish while De Reuver came home in seventh after setting consistently fast lap times throughout the 35-minute plus two lap moto. Brown was ninth with Bill 11th - by far their best results of the season so far.

Moto two saw De Reuver and Brown head the pack into the first but it was the reigning MX1 World Champion Steve Ramon who came out of it with the lead. MacKenzie was near the front of the pack and soon fought through to second where he tailed the Belgian for one lap before making a move for the lead then trying to forge a gap. Stretching his lead to as much as five seconds at one point MacKenzie unfortunately made an unforced error on lap 14 when he looked in full control. He crashed and remounted in fourth place.

Meanwhile MacKenzie’s CAS Honda teammate Mike Brown was charging hard and had moved from eighth place to sixth before passing MacKenzie – who had also lost a position to Josh Coppins - for fifth with three laps to go. De Reuver had been as high as sixth place in the middle section of the moto but slipped to eighth after losing out in a battle with Barragan. Bill DNFed when the pain from his finger became too much.

MacKenzie who is Honda’s highest points scorer in the MX1 championship now holds fourth place in the series standings with 79 points to the 102 of championship leader David Philippaerts. Brown holds 12th place on 42. De Reuver is 14th for the Martin Honda team while Bill who has a torrid season so far is 25th.

The world championship takes a one-week break continuing in Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria on May 11.

Mike Brown Mark DeRuever

Mike Brown

Mark DeRuever

Roger Harvey – Honda Off-Road coordinator:
“Starting with the CAS team first and Billy MacKenzie. He’s shown that he’s got the speed but he’s still making little mistakes and we can’t accept that because he’s now able to win GPs anywhere but keeps making silly mistakes like the one he made in the second race today. His speed is really good – I’m very pleased with that – and the bike seems to be working well and he’s happy with the bike, we’ve just got to iron out those little slips.

“Mike had a good day today. He struggled coming into the weekend, starting in free training then got it together. He made some changes to the bike between qualifying yesterday and this morning’s warm-up session and they worked very well, he got more and more comfortable and was charging, charging, charging right through the race – typical Mike really.”

“Moving over to the Martin team and Marc De Reuver was not so bad. He showed he’s got the speed but his conditioning isn’t there probably because he missed some time at the beginning of the season but there’s no point making excuses – he’s got to get fitter.”

“Julien Bill had a thorn in his hand and he said couldn’t hold on but that’s no excuse – he should have just got on with it.”

”The performance of the CRF450s – both the CAS and Martin bikes – is something I’m really pleased with and all the riders were up there off the starts so that’s a good sign.”

Billy MacKenzie – CAS Honda:
“All day yesterday was really good for me. The weather was really hot and it was important to stay hydrated because I knew race day was going to be tough. My times were good in all the sessions, I’d put a really fast lap in and be fasted then Pourcel would put an even quicker one in at the end of the session, I wasn’t really too bothered. The same happened in qualifying and I thought I had it in the bag but he came and did it again. Second was good enough and I was pleased with the way I was riding and I was riding a lot smoother than the other guys – I could see they were really hanging it out to get a good time – but I was conserving my energy for the races.”

“In the first race I didn’t get off to a great start – I had my finger on the clutch all the way up the start straight because there was so much grip and I was trying to keep the front end down. I went wide in the first corner then made a load of passes on the first lap and kept going from there and eventually did Philippaerts – I did everyone. I got into the lead and was pulling away from them all but lost a little bit of concentration and got a little bit of arm pump mid-race and started overshooting corners and making small mistakes. I ended up finishing fourth, it was okay but my second races are always a lot better so I was looking forward to that.”

“I got a much better start and followed Ramon for a lap then passed him for the lead. He followed me for about 10 minutes but then I had a pit signal to ‘push hard’ so I put one hard lap in and I managed to break him – I went from two seconds to five seconds ahead. I thought I had it under control and I was just trying to pick my lines, take my time and get into a flow really because I though it would be a good idea to save some energy for the last 10 minutes. I made a little mistake and lost my balance then the front wheel washed out and I crashed. I tried not to panic because it’s so easy to break your rhythm with a crash like that. When I got going again I had Coppins behind me and I knew that if I beat him I’d finish on the podium so I was a little bit worried about that then he made a real hard pass on me and I almost went down. The red mist came down a little bit and I went after him but made a couple more mistakes and had to basically just bring it home from there.”

Mike Brown – CAS Honda:
“This is where things started getting better for me last year and this year I think I had the same results as then but I know I rode a lot better – I was catching the other guys at the end of the race so it gives me a lot of confidence going into the next few rounds.”

“The second moto start was awesome and I went into the first corner in the lead but went a little bit wide and got out into the soft stuff and came out of it in third. A few guys got me in the beginning of the race and so I know I have to work on my speed in the early part of the moto but the longer the race went on the faster I got and I started finding better lines. My fitness is as good as anybody else’s – they may be a little bit faster but I’m stronger – so I’m gonna work on my speed in the next couple of weeks and see how things pan out from there.”

Marc De Reuver – Martin Honda:
“I was really surprised on Saturday because I was fastest for a while and sitting on pole but a few guys went quicker and I couldn’t so I ended up fifth which was really good for me. In the first heat I screwed up the start but made up a lot of places in the first few turns and I just rode my own race because it was so hot and I wanted to have consistent lap times. I finished seventh and was happy about that.”

“In the second heat I got a really good start – I got the holeshot – but I slipped a little in the first turn and MacKenzie hit me and I lost a little balance and a few places. So I did the same as in the first race – outside on the second turn, inside on the third – and from there I rode a really good race until four laps from the end where I was physically drained. I know I have to work on my fitness but I’ve got to remember that this is the first grand prix this year where I’ve done two full races and the heat is so intense here. I know I’m capable of finishing better than seventh and eighth but it’s not too bad either.”

Julien Bill – Martin Honda:
“Today was difficult with the hot weather. In the first moto I got a good start and rode a lot better than I had in the previous GPs and finished 11th. In the second race I got a bad start and I had a lot of pain in my finger because I have a splinter in there. I was running outside of the points and the pain was so bad and I couldn’t hold onto the handlebars properly so I had to retire from the race. It was not such a good day for me.”

2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 03, Grand Prix of Portugal, Agueda

MX1 Race 1
1 PHILIPPAERTS David (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
2 POURCEL Sebastien (GPKR Team)
3 BARRAGAN Jonathan (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
4 MACKENZIE Billy (CAS Honda)
5 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
6 RAMON Steve (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
7 DE REUVER Marc (Honda Martin Racing)
8 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
9 BROWN Mike (CAS Honda)
10 DESALLE Clement (Team Suzuki Inotec)
11 BILL Julien (Honda Martin Racing)
12 NAGL Maximilian (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
13 SCHIFFER Marcus (KTM Sarholz Racing Team)
14 DE DYCKER Ken (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
15 NOBLE James (KTM UK)
MX1 Race 2
1 POURCEL Sebastien (GPKR Team)
2 PHILIPPAERTS David (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
3 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
4 RAMON Steve (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
5 BROWN Mike (CAS Honda)
6 MACKENZIE Billy (CAS Honda)
7 BARRAGAN Jonathan (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
8 DE REUVER Marc (Honda Martin Racing)
9 NEMETH Kornel (KTM Sarholz Racing Team)
10 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
11 DESALLE Clement (Team Suzuki Inotec)
12 NAGL Maximilian (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
13 CAMPANO Carlos (
14 NOBLE James (KTM UK)
15 RENET Pierre A. (TEKA-Suzuki)
MX2 Race 1
1 CAIROLI Antonio (Yamaha Red Bull De Carli )
2 SEARLE Tommy (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
3 RATTRAY Tyla (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
4 SWORD Stephen (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
5 GUARNERI Davide (Ricci Racing Yamaha)
6 GONCALVES Rui (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
8 AUBIN Nicolas (Ricci Racing Yamaha)
9 PAULIN Gautier (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
10 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy (Champ-KTM)
11 BOOG Xavier (Team Suzuki Inotec)
12 AVIS Wyatt (LS Motors Honda)
13 BOISSIERE Anthony (KTM HDI MX Team)
14 MUSQUIN Marvin (NGS Team)
15 NUNN Carl (SUSO MVR-D Suzuki)
MX2 Race 2
1 CAIROLI Antonio (Yamaha Red Bull De Carli)
2 RATTRAY Tyla (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
3 SEARLE Tommy (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
4 AUBIN Nicolas (Ricci Racing Yamaha)
5 SWORD Stephen (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
6 GONCALVES Rui (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
7 NUNN Carl (SUSO MVR-D Suzuki )
9 MONNI Manuel (3C Racing)
10 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy (Champ-KTM)
11 PAULIN Gautier (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
12 GUARNERI Davide (Ricci Racing Yamaha)
13 TARROUX Jeremy (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
14 TERREBLANCHE S. (Beursfoon Suzuki MX Team)
15 ARANDA Gregory (CLS)

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