MotoCross > 2008 Round 12: Czech Republic > Race Results
WMXCzech RepublicAugust 10, 2008
2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 12
Grand Prix of Czech Republic, Loket

CAS Honda teamster Steve Boniface fastest CRF450 rider on luckless day for Honda at Loket

After looking certain to take his first podium of the year at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic Billy MacKenzie was destined to leave the Loket circuit pointless on the day. MacKenzie had set the pace for his rivals to match when qualifying fastest and looked likely to take the lead of moto one before crashing out of contention at half race distance. MacKenzie’s misfortune was the first of a string of set-backs on a day filled with bad luck for the four Honda supported riders. Following MacKenzie’s demise it was his CAS Honda teammate Steve Boniface who emerged as Honda’s strongest performer in 15th overall with Honda Martin’s Marc de Reuver the only other scorer in 17th place overall.

Steve Boniface

Steve Boniface

In almost complete contrast to last weekend’s Grand Prix of Belgium that was held in deep, heavy sand that physically tortured the riders, the hard packed, fast and slick camber-filled hillsides of the Loket circuit challenged the world’s off-road elite in a completely different way. But despite the circuit presenting a different challenge for both man and machine it was a Honda CRF450 mounted rider that set pole position for the second time running during the Saturday afternoon 30-minute timed qualifying session..

CAS Honda’s MacKenzie set a scorching confidence boosting time of 1m:47.227s during the first half of the session and he would remain unbeaten for the duration. Lap times were so tight on the fast track that the entire top 20 qualified within three seconds of the speedy Scotsman. Billy’s CAS teammate Steve Boniface was second quickest of Honda’s fast four in seventh place while Marc de Reuver – who was fastest in qualification and won a moto a week earlier in Belgium – ended the session 13th with Julien Bill – who had been quickest rider in the second free practice session – 18th less than two and a half seconds behind his pole sitting team mate.

MacKenzie got a great start in moto one and when the jostling pack had settled itself after a few corners the Scotsman found himself fourth behind Seb Pourcel, Jon Barragan and Josh Coppins who he soon aggressively passed in a long right hand corner. Looking comfortable with much more to give, MacKenzie stalked the leaders and inherited second place when Pourcel crashed on lap six. Then, just as Billy looked set to close the gap between himself and the race leader the plucky Scotsman took a nasty fall on a high speed section of track that ended his race prematurely.

That crash left Boniface as Honda’s leading rider in the race. After starting inside the top 10, Steve slipped back through the pack to 14th place at the finish, just one position ahead of Honda Martin’s Marc de Reuver who had started way back in 23rd and taken several laps to find his rhythm around the slick Czech circuit. De Reuver’s teammate Julien Bill failed to finish the moto when he suffered technical problems.

Boniface again got a great start in moto two and the CAS Honda rider ran in a strong sixth place in the early laps before crashing and lost a lot of time restarting his machine. After a long battle to make up the lost time Boniface clawed his way back to 16th place in the 35-minute plus two lap moto.

Bill meanwhile was running in 13th position which would prove to be particularly unlucky for the Swiss rider when a rock damaged an oil sight window on the engine causing his factory Honda to lose oil. Rather than run the engine dry and risk a potential seizure and potentially dangerous consequences on this high speed circuit Julien wisely pulled in to the pits and collected his second DNF of the day. For De Reuver the second moto proved just as difficult as the first and he finished one place behind Boniface once more.

In the series standings MacKenzie’s no score sees him drop back to ninth – one place ahead of De Reuver.. Julien Bill also drops one place to 14th while Steve Boniface – who was drafted into the CAS team as a replacement for the homesick Mike Brown and therefore missed the first six rounds of the series – moves up one place to 19th with just three rounds left to run.

The FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship will now take a two week break before resuming in Dublin for the Grand Prix of Ireland on August 31.

Mark DeRuever

Mark DeRuever

Roger Harvey – Honda Off-Road coordinator
“What a terrible day. Obviously it was partly down to crashes and some other problems too like with De Reuver not really settling on a track like this which was pretty disappointing after we saw how he performed in Lommel – we know he can ride sand and he doesn’t particularly like this kind of terrain but that’s something he’ll have to build on and work on because he needs to be good on all types of terrain. Marc’s Honda Martin teammate Julien Bill has had terrible luck all weekend with one thing and another and it’s just been a nightmare GP for him.

“Billy MacKenzie was riding great in the first race and running an easy second until he went over the bars. I just spoke to him and he said he was riding along on the front wheel for so long after hitting a kicker and he was just unfortunate that it did unload him but fortunately he’s not injured and that’s a good thing. Boniface was struggling with his knee – he was running up there for four or five laps in each race but the pain just got to be too much for him.

“Then to top an already disastrous day NGS Honda’s Marvin Musquin took a tumble with three laps to go in the second MX2 race and broke a collarbone. It’s definitely not the kind of day I want to experience in the office again.”

Marc De Reuver – Martin Honda
“On a track like this if you’re confident you can do well but when you have the slightest amount of fear then it’s over. I just didn’t feel confident all weekend and I didn’t ride well. In the first and second practice I was lower than 20th position but then in qualifying I was 13th and that was a little bit better. That was okay because the start is quite fair here and there are many places you can get a good start from.

“But I messed up the start both times and I had a lot of work to do to try and pull through. I struggled to find a good rhythm and I found it tough to find the extra I needed to come through the pack – I was just following and not riding so well and that was it. I’ve not been able to ride much with my ankle injury and for sure it gives me more problems on the hard tracks than on the sand tracks. The bike was working great though and that’s one positive thing from the weekend – the only problem was with me.”

Lorenzo Resta – Martin Honda Sport Director
“I think Julien was really disappointed with this weekend. He was fastest in the second free practice session but didn’t have such a good time in qualifying and ended up 18th. He had two good starts and was aiming for top 10 results in both heats but in the first heat something broke internally with his bike – we don’t know what yet but will strip the motor down and find out back at the workshop – so we changed the engine in his bike for moto two. In the second heat we had unbelievable bad luck because the small window – the one with which you check the engine oil level – was broken by a stone. This is a freak occurrence and would never normally happen – not even on a track like this with many small stones – but this time it has happened and there’s nothing we can do about it. We hope the Grand Prix of Ireland will be better and Julien can get the really good results we know he is capable of.”

Billy MacKenzie – CAS Honda
“Qualifying was good and I set a good time halfway through just when it dried up and the track was perfect really. The lap was good but I knew I could go faster and I had some speed in reserve. I didn’t expect to stay on pole because I thought someone would come by because there was still 12 minutes of the session left but they didn’t and I finally won an iPod for getting pole position which I was quite happy with.

“In the race I didn’t get the best start but I cut through everyone and I put a hard pass in on Josh – as payback for last week when he took me down – and I was third, then Pourcel crashed and I was second behind Jonny Barragan and I was loving it. I was feeling really strong and I felt as though I could have won the race then I made a mistake. I came up the hill and I hooked a gear just as I hit the face of the jump and I must have hit a neutral because the bike nose dived and I was riding along on the front wheel for what seemed like ages. I thought I was going to save it but then it just face planted me and I went straight down and got tangled up with the bike.

“I’ve scratched up my side and my back and I’ve done something to my left hip – that’s the sorest part so far but the x-rays show there are no broken bones. I just need to get back home now, have a little massage and some physio and I should be alright.”

Steve Boniface – CAS Honda
“The track was pretty good and I had a pretty good time in qualifying – I was seventh – and that was not so bad. In the first race I was suffering from the knee injury I picked up last week and I had a hard time running the pace after I got a good start in eighth place. In the second moto I had another good start but then I crashed the bike and had a pretty hard time starting it. I lost a lot of time there and by the time I got going again I was pretty far back. It was a so-so weekend again but now I can concentrate on getting fit between now and Ireland and I hope to do well at the last three races.”

2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 12 Grand Prix of Czech Republic, Loket

MX1 Race 1
1 NAGL Maximilian (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
2 BARRAGAN Jonathan (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
3 PHILIPPAERTS David (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
4 RAMON Steve (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
5 POURCEL Sebastien (GPKR Team)
6 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
7 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
8 DE DYCKER Ken (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
9 DESALLE Clement (Team Suzuki Inotec)
10 NEMETH Kornel (KTM Sarholz Racing Team)
11 PRIEM Manuel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
12 ARANDA Gregory (CLS)
13 ANDERSON Bradley (Suzuki Swift Motocross Team)
15 DE REUVER Marc (Honda Martin Racing)
MX1 Race 2
1 PHILIPPAERTS David (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
2 POURCEL Sebastien (GPKR Team)
3 DE DYCKER Ken (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
4 RAMON Steve (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
5 BARRAGAN Jonathan (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
6 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
7 PRIEM Manuel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
8 DESALLE Clement (Team Suzuki Inotec)
9 NAGL Maximilian (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
10 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
11 ARANDA Gregory (CLS)
12 NEMETH Kornel (KTM Sarholz Racing Team)
13 LEOK Aigar (Team Yamaha van Beers Racing)
14 SALVINI Alex (Moto Race Team)
15 ANDERSON Bradley (Suzuki Swift Motocross Team)
MX2 Race 1
1 RATTRAY Tyla (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
2 SEARLE Tommy (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
3 AUBIN Nicolas (Ricci Racing Yamaha)
4 SWORD Stephen (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
7 ROELANTS Joel (Champ-KTM)
8 GONCALVES Rui (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
9 TARROUX Jeremy (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
10 BOOG Xavier (Team Suzuki Inotec)
11 MONNI Manuel (3C Racing)
12 LUPINO Alessandro (Yamaha Red Bull De Carli)
13 NICHOLLS Jake (Suzuki Swift Motocross Team)
14 MUSQUIN Marvin (NGS Team)
15 DOUGAN Jason (SUSO MVR-D Suzuki)
MX1 Race 2
1 SEARLE Tommy (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
2 RATTRAY Tyla (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
5 SWORD Stephen (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
6 AUBIN Nicolas (Ricci Racing Yamaha)
7 GUARNERI Davide (Ricci Racing Yamaha)
8 MONNI Manuel (3C Racing)
9 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy (Champ-KTM)
10 GONCALVES Rui (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
11 BOOG Xavier (Team Suzuki Inotec)
12 TARROUX Jeremy (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
13 SEISTOLA Matti (SRS Racing -ST)
14 NUNN Carl (SUSO MVR-D Suzuki)
15 BANKS-BROWNE Elliot (Suzuki Swift Motocross Team)

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