MotoCross > 2007 Round 15: Citta di Faenza > Race Results
WMX Italy September 14, 2007
2007 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 15
Citta di Faenza

MacKenzie top Honda finisher at Faenza as Phillipearts takes MX1 title

CAS Honda's Billy MacKenzie made a strong ride through the pack to finish 10th on his factory CRF450 during moto two of the Grand Prix of Citta Di Faenza - the 15th and final round of the 2008 FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship - to add to his solid fifth place in the first moto. The Scotsman's results enough to secure eighth overall on the day and ninth in the final world championship standings.

Billy MacKenzie

Billy MacKenzie

The hillside Faenza circuit - that was first used for GP action in 1979, the year that British rider Graham Noyce won the 500cc world title on a factory Honda - was in perfect condition for the final round of the 2008 FIM MX1 series as the Motoclub Faenza had ripped up the surface of the 1550 metre racetrack allowing the rain that has fallen in the region recently to penetrate its clay-based soil surface. Much tackier and less hardpack than normal the Faenza circuit that's famous around the world for its up and downhill sections made a great venue for the grand finale of the MX1 title chase.

Saturday afternoon's qualifying session was held under grey skies but with perfect track conditions. The times around the relatively short circuit were extremely tight and only four seconds separated the first 20 riders. Martin Honda's Marc de Reuver was the quickest of the factory Honda stars in seventh place on his CRF450 after setting his fastest lap at the very end of the 30-minute timed session. Both Marc's Martin Honda teammate Julien Bill and CAS Honda's Billy MacKenzie set times less than one second slower than De Reuver but the tight bunching of the field meant that Bill would end the session 12th and MacKenzie - who was still suffering with sore ribs following his qualifying crash in Lierop - 15th.

Race day dawned damp and overcast after heavy overnight rain had hit the area dampening the track further. However, before Sunday morning's Warm Up session the clouds lifted allowing the sun to shine down on the Italian circuit to help dry out its super-sticky surface. For Julien Bill the conditions were ideal as he powered his factory CRF450 to the fastest time of the session - some 12 and a half seconds slower than the fastest time set during qualification proving just how different the conditions were.

By the time the gate dropped for moto one the track was in perfect condition and despite not having the best pick at the gate and suffering with pain from his injured ribs MacKenzie made a superb start in moto one from a very unfavourable gate position and ran fourth in the early laps behind Max Nagl, De Reuver and Sebastien Pourcel. Spending most of the remainder of the moto battling with the Dutchman the young Scottish star finally made a pass stick on the very last lap to secure fifth place in the opening moto.

MacKenzie's start in moto two was not ideal and things got worse for the reigning British MX1 Champion when he got tangled up with Sebastien Pourcel after the Frenchman crashed. Shortly after getting going again Billy was taken out by another rider and then had to charge from outside the points positions to an eventual 10th place finish to secure eighth overall on the day and secure ninth in the final championship standings. One place behind MacKenzie in the final series rankings is Martin Honda's Marc de Reuver who has a mixed day in Faenza to score 14th place overall. De Reuver had an awesome start in the first race, getting off the line in second and rounding the first lap in third. Marc held down third for the first half of the moto while fending off an all-out attack from MacKenzie but on lap 10 of 22 De Reuver had a small crash and dropped a spot to a charging Ken De Dycker before yielding another one lap later to David Philippaerts. Picking up a place when Seb Pourcel got caught in the green plastic netting lining the track, De Reuver then spent the remainder of the moto battling hard with MacKenzie again despite struggling to see because of a goggle problem and finally finished sixth. After getting his foot caught in the start gate at the beginning of the second moto - and wrenching his ankle – Marc unfortunately had to end his race early as the pain proved to be too much for the tough Dutchman to continue.

Martin Honda's Julien Bill backed up an excellent first race seventh with a second moto 11th to bounce back from the arm injury he suffered in Ireland - and caused him to miss last weekend's Grand Prix of Benelux - to score a very creditable ninth overall. Julien's efforts at the final round saw him rise from 15th to 13th in the final series standings.

Mark DeRuever

Julian Bill

Billy MacKenzie - CAS Honda
"Coming into this weekend I did very little because of my rib injury. I stayed in Belgium during the week and I had some extensive lazer treatment which really seemed to help because when I arrived here in Italy they didn't feel so bad. Then on Friday I was just stretching and I felt it go crunch and I was in agony so from then on the whole weekend was a struggle and I've been downing as many painkillers as possible just so I could feel half decent.

"In practice and qualifying I didn't get into it at all and I wasn't enjoying the track because I was in so much pain. On Saturday night Neil Prince said to me that he thought that I shouldn't ride but I felt that I had to because my goal coming here was to finish as top Honda rider in the championship and I couldn't have succeeding in doing that if I hadn't rode.

"In the first race I didn't get a great start but I worked my way up to fifth in the first few corners and it was going okay, I tightened up a little bit and had a little bit of arm pump but I worked through it and started breathing properly and started to feel better again. I had a bit of a battle with De Reuver and made a pass stick on the last lap so I finished fifth which was pretty good - I was pleased with that and so were the team.

"Between races I got a pain killing shot from Zach Osborne's trainer and I felt a lot better going into moto two - I was pretty confident I could do well again. We had made some changes to the bike to help with traction but on the start that really worked against me and it bogged as I left the line and that made the race a lot of hard work. I got into and I was racing with Barragan and Pourcel who then had a big crash in front of me and I had nowhere to go and I hit him quite hard and got tangled up with him a little bit.

"I set off again and Priem passed me and pushed me wide in the next corner and that really wound me up so on the next big downhill I went wide open and passed him but then he wiped me out in the next corner. From there I got my head down and concentrated on my lap times and came through the pack pretty well until I got on to the back of Philippaerts who was looking a bit nervous because the championship was on the line so I let him keep the position and crossed the line behind him.

"I think it's been a good weekend considering the amount of pain I've been in. One good thing is that it's given me the confidence to go to Hawkstone Park knowing that I can push hard in both motos and tie up the British championship there."

Marc De Reuver - Martin Honda
"I enjoyed riding the track and I thought that they had done a good job preparing it. In practice I improved in every session which was good and in the end I qualified seventh after putting in a really quick time at the end of the session.

"In the first heat I had a really good start - I was second - but then I made a small crash and I had some problems with sweat on the inside of my goggles which made it really difficult to see. I was having a really good fight with MacKenzie and that was a lot of fun but he was able to pass me on the last lap because I was struggling to see the ruts because of my poor vision - everything was blurry and that made things dangerous but still sixth wasn't too bad considering.

"In the second heat I had a really bad start because my foot got caught in the start gate and it hurt my ankle really quite badly. Then on the first lap I got caught in a few small crashes with other riders and my ankle was hurting and I was over it.

"I ended up 10th in the championship which isn't great because you always expect more but I've had bad luck with injuries and also a disqualification. There have also been some great times and I have won two GPs which was awesome too."

Julien Bill - Martin Honda
"The track was pretty nice here on both days and the organizers did a great job of prepping the track - working hard with the ruts and the bumps – and for today's races it was pretty rough but still very enjoyable to ride. I got great starts in both races and I rode well today up there with the top guys. In the first moto I finished seventh which was really good for me. In race two I struggled a little to find some good lines but I pushed hard until the end and I got a good moto finish and a good overall result - I'm happy about that!"

2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 15
Citta di Faenza

MX1 - Race 1 Result
1 NAGL Maximilian (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
2 DE DYCKER Ken (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
3 PHILIPPAERTS David (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
4 BARRAGAN Jonathan (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
5 MACKENZIE Billy (CAS Honda)
6 DE REUVER Marc (Honda Martin Racing)
7 BILL Julien (Honda Martin Racing)
8 DESALLE Clement (Team Suzuki Inotec)
9 SCHIFFER Marcus (KTM Sarholz Racing Team)
10 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
11 RAMON Steve (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
12 CHURCH Tom (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
13 MICHEK Martin (RSC Italia Corse)
14 PRIEM Manuel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
MX1 - Race 2 Result
1 NAGL Maximilian (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
2 RAMON Steve (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
3 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
4 BARRAGAN Jonathan (AXO KTM Silver Action Team)
5 DE DYCKER Ken (Team TEKA Suzuki-WMX1)
6 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
7 DESALLE Clement (Team Suzuki Inotec)
8 CAMPANO Carlos (
9 PHILIPPAERTS David (Yamaha Monster Motocross Team)
10 MACKENZIE Billy (CAS Honda)
11 BILL Julien (Honda Martin Racing)
12 PRIEM Manuel (Kawasaki Racing Team Europe)
13 SALVINI Alex (Moto Race Team)
14 CHURCH Tom (Molson Kawasaki Racing)
15 RENET Pierre A. (TEKA-Suzuki)
MX2 - Race 1 Result
1 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
2 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
3 Boissiere, Anthony (KTM)
4 Sword, Stephen (Kawasaki)
5 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
6 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
7 Osborne, Zach (Yamaha)
8 Roelants, Joel (KTM)
9 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
10 Lupino, Alessandro (Yamaha)
11 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
12 Nunn, Carl (Suzuki)
13 Swanepoel, Gareth (Kawasaki)
14 Monni, Manuel (Yamaha)
15 Gercar, Klemen (Yamaha)
MX2 - Race 2 Result
1 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
2 Roelants, Joel (KTM)
3 Osborne, Zach (Yamaha)
4 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
5 Sword, Stephen (Kawasaki)
6 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
7 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
8 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
9 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
10 Monni, Manuel (Yamaha)
11 Seistola, Matti (Honda)
12 Lupino, Alessandro (Yamaha)
13 Tarroux, Jeremy (KTM)
14 Nunn, Carl (Suzuki)
15 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)

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