MotoCross > Round 09: Sweden > Race Results
WMXSwedenJuly 6, 2008
2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 09
Grand Prix of Sweden, Uddevalla

Billy MacKenzie fifth overall for CAS Honda at Uddevalla

The ninth round of the FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship saw Billy MacKenzie, Steve Boniface and Julien Bill all steer their factory Honda CRF450s into the top 10 overall on a tough, technical and tiring circuit at Uddevalla in Sweden.

Billy MacKenzie

Billy MacKenzie

The Uddevalla circuit is shorter than most in the championship season and despite lacking length the increased intensity makes it just as – if not even more – technical. With truckloads of sand added to the top of the normally hard packed surface there were plenty more ruts and bumps than in past years. As the weekend progressed and the sand shifted away from the racing line, slick spots appeared making things even more difficult for the riders especially during Sunday’s rain showers.

However, the weather was perfect for the qualifying session on Saturday and it was Billy MacKenzie who emerged as the fastest Honda man. Despite still riding in a lot of pain from his cracked shoulder blade the Scotsman finished 10th after covering the bare minimum number of laps in the qualifying session.

The following three places were also filled by Honda riders as Marc De Reuver, Steve Boniface and Julien Bill all set similar times to MacKenzie’s – less than one second separated the four riders.

When race day dawned damp and overcast conditions greeted the riders making the difficult circuit became even more demanding. Making a good start would become more important than ever.

When the gate dropped for moto one it was CAS Honda riders Boniface and MacKenzie who motored to the front of the pack to run first and second with De Reuver and Bill both inside the top 10. The CAS team riders comfortably held down the leading two positions until MacKenzie crashed and lost a position to Barragan. Totally filled in by Barragan’s rear wheel as he tried to regain his place at the front of the pack the Scotsman suffered vision problems and lost several places before finally deciding to ditch his goggles.

Honda Martin’s De Reuver made a mistake of his own on lap three but was able to fight back through the pack on a circuit that many riders claimed was ‘impossible’ to pass on. Third on lap 13 Marc passed Boniface – who had lost the lead to Barragan two laps previous – for second, where he would stay until the chequered flag. Boniface would fade further after losing his rhythm on the difficult circuit finally finishing sixth, one place ahead of his CAS teammate. Honda Martin rider Julien Bill ended the race 10th after battling hard with Ken De Dycker, Sebastien Pourcel and Tanel Leok for most of the moto.

MacKenzie got off to another stunning start in race two, running second behind Max Nagl who eased away from the pack to win the moto unchallenged. Unable to train or ride as much as he’d like between GPs due to the shoulder injury, MacKenzie started to fade and would eventually finish sixth after riding a very smart race on this difficult race track. Finishing just one place behind MacKenzie was Bill who acquitted himself well to finish seventh.

Boniface worked his way up through the pack from a ninth place start but goggle problems and a small crash near the end of the moto would stop the freshly signed CAS rider from reaching his full potential in this moto and he finally ended 11th. De Reuver meanwhile was unable to score points in moto two after getting caught in someone else’s crash and damaging his bike’s steering. Although De Reuver tried to continue as best he could, another crash mid-race saw the tall Dutchman wisely call it a day.

Overall on the day MacKenzie was the highest placed Honda rider in fifth overall, while Bill and Boniface finished level on points in eighth and ninth. Even with a moto two no-score De Reuver was 12th overall.

In the series standings MacKenzie sits a safe ninth with De Reuver 10th, Bill climbs to 13th and late-signing Steve Boniface rises to 20th even though he’s only competed in one third of this season’s races.

The next round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship – round 10 – will be held at a new venue for Grand Prix motocross, Nelspruit in South Africa on July 20.

Steve Boniface

Julian Bill

Roger Harvey – Honda Off-Road coordinator
“Qualification wasn’t so good for us this weekend and some of the riders seemed to struggle with the conditions but they turned it around on race day. The start of the first race today was very good with both CAS Hondas out front and Marc De Reuver also right up there – it was excellent to see.

“I was pleased with Billy MacKenzie today. We’ve got to remember that he’s still riding injured and he’s in a lot of pain but he’s not letting it bother him too much. He had a little slip off but that’s excusable considering the track conditions today and of course the condition he’s in.

“Steve Boniface rode very well and he’s settling in quite well with the CAS team and he looks very comfortable on the bike even though he’s very small. He said to me after the first race that it’s a long time since he’s lead a race and he felt a bit lost. He’s obviously very good in these conditions but I also think we’ll see him right up there for the rest of the season.

“Marc De Reuver was excellent in the first race. He made a small bobble early on and then he just charged through the pack on a track where a lot of riders said it’s impossible to pass so that was an amazing ride. In race two he had a problem with a rider falling in front of him who he hit and then all his steering was twisted. He came off the track again and then he assessed the position, he was already a lap down on the last point scorer and so he pulled out of the race which I feel was the right decision for him.

“Julien Bill was as solid as ever and he put in two very good rides on a track that probably doesn’t suit him so much. I believe he had a bit of a problem with goggles in one race, which held him back a little bit.

“Little Marvin Musquin was good in the MX2 class again and let’s not forget Wyatt Avis and Matti Seistola who were also up there today on their CRF250s.

“I’m very happy with the way things are going generally. All four riders look very comfortable on the bike, it is working a treat and everybody is very happy with it –both the CAS and Martin team.”

Julien Bill – Martin Honda
“For me this track is very difficult and I struggled a little bit with it all weekend and I couldn’t find the best lines. In the first moto I had a bad start and I couldn’t really find a good rhythm in that race so I was quite happy to finish 10th. In moto two I really focussed on my start and it worked well. I was able to get away with the fast guys at the front of the pack, I found a good rhythm in this moto, some good lines too and my physical condition was good so I was able to push hard until the end. I had a good overall finish and I’m happy with that because Uddevalla is not a track that I really enjoy riding.”

Marc De Reuver – Martin Honda
“I really thought I’d be able to finish on the podium today because I was riding well and although the track was difficult to ride and slippery in places I was able to ride fast. I didn’t have such a good feeling with it yesterday but today it was much better. In the first moto I got a great start but on the third lap I made a small crash and lost some positions. But I was riding well and I was able to pass Ramon, De Dycker and Boniface quite easily. When I got to second the gap between myself and Barragan was too much for me to catch him so I had to be content with finishing second and that was okay.

“In race two I got an okay start again and I was coming through the pack again when Clement Desalle crashed about one metre in front of me. I wasn’t able to avoid him and I crashed too. My handlebars were all twisted and it was difficult to ride after that. I jumped off the track and lost a lot of time – I was already more than a lap down on the last of the point scorers so I decided not to continue.

“It was a mixed day for me – I was riding well but in moto two I didn’t have the luck I need. I’m 10th in the championship now but I know I can move forward from here because there are some tracks coming up that will really suit me.”

Billy MacKenzie – CAS Honda
“My shoulder’s been okay this weekend – it’s still a little weak and sore but it hasn’t affected me that much. I felt a little bit ill coming into this weekend and I had bad stomach cramps. The first start was good. Steve and I got away first and second and I was riding smooth behind him and not going too crazy on the first few laps. He made a mistake on one section and I could have passed him but he’d have probably gone down so I sort of held back. I had a little crash in a corner and dropped a few places but I still felt comfortable and thought I’d be able to come back but I got behind Barragan and I went for my roll-offs and nothing was happening so I had to take my goggles off and from there I just brought it home.

“I was feeling a little tired coming into the second race but I got another decent start and was second behind Nagl. I was perhaps cruising too much in the beginning while I was concentrating on not making mistakes like I usually do and they all came past me. I didn’t really have an answer for them so I concentrated on riding my own lines and putting in consistent lap times. I made a mistake near the end and Coppins was able to pass me. I really tried to come back to him but it wasn’t happening. I ended up the day fifth overall which I’m quite happy with. I’ve been gradually improving since I injured my shoulder and I’ve been getting better results and hopefully next time I’ll be further up there.”

Steve Boniface – CAS Honda
“The first moto started really well for me - I got the holeshot and felt really good on the track and I started to pull away. At the 25-minute mark I maybe started to pace myself too much too soon and they started to catch me. When I saw they were catching I started to get a little tight and made a few mistakes and lost the pace and my rhythm. I’m disappointed because I know that I could have won that race if I’d concentrated more on attacking the track.

“In the second moto the start wasn’t so good – I tangled a little bit with the rider beside me – but I came out the first corner not so bad, I think I was about seventh. I felt okay but I made a mistake in the sand and I crashed. I had a little problem with sweat inside my goggles and so I had to take them off also. I started to feel a little bit tired after picking up the bike and restarting it again and I ended up 11th in the end.

“This weekend went better for me than last weekend for sure and I have to build from that and try and improve week by week. I think in a few races time I’ll be able to consistently run up front. I’m going to test for three days this week and hope to be able to work on the bike and get it to fit my riding style a little better. I think we’re already almost there, I just need to make another three or four changes and then I think we’ll be good for the rest of the season.”

2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 09 Grand Prix of Sweden, Uddevalla

MX1 Race 1
1 Barragan, Jonathan (KTM)
2 de Reuver, Marc (Honda)
3 Ramon, Steve (Suzuki)
4 Philippaerts, David (Yamaha)
5 Desalle, Clement (Suzuki)
6 Boniface, Steve (Honda)
7 Mackenzie, Billy (Honda)
8 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
9 Leok, Tanel (Kawasaki)
10 Bill, Julien (Honda)
11 Pourcel, Sebastien (Kawasaki)
12 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
13 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
14 Leok, Aigar (Yamaha)
15 Noble, James (KTM)

Mark DeRuever
MX1 Race 2
1 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
2 Barragan, Jonathan (KTM)
3 Ramon, Steve (Suzuki)
4 Philippaerts, David (Yamaha)
5 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
6 Mackenzie, Billy (Honda)
7 Bill, Julien (Honda)
8 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
9 Desalle, Clement (Suzuki)
10 Leok, Tanel (Kawasaki)
11 Boniface, Steve (Honda)
12 Nemeth, Kornel (KTM)
13 Noble, James (KTM)
14 Church, Tom (Kawasaki)
15 Correira, Luis (Suzuki)
MX2 Race 1
1 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
2 Cairoli, Antonio (Yamaha)
3 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
4 Frossard, Steven (Kawasaki)
5 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
6 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
7 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
8 Seistola, Matti (Honda)
9 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
10 Guarneri, Davide (Yamaha)
11 Monni, Manuel (Yamaha)
12 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
13 Tarroux, Jeremy (KTM)
14 Musquin, Marvin (Honda)
15 Dougan, Jason (Suzuki)
16 Thuresson, Filip (Suzuki)
MX2 Race 2
1 Cairoli, Antonio (Yamaha)
2 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
3 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
4 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
5 Tarroux, Jeremy (KTM)
6 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
7 Frossard, Steven (Kawasaki)
8 Musquin, Marvin (Honda)
9 Avis, Wyatt (Honda)
10 Aranda, Gregory (Kawasaki)
11 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
12 Boissiere, Anthony (KTM)
13 Seistola, Matti (Honda)
14 Nunn, Carl (Suzuki)
15 Roelants, Joel (KTM)

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