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Round 1: Mackenzie storms to Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals victory at Broadford

2011 MX Nationals
2001 Mx Nationals Round 1

Scotsman Billy Mackenzie has taken victory in the opening round of the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals, contested in treacherous conditions at Broadford in Victoria.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider, who is the current national number two, won the premier Rockstar Energy Drink Pro Open category after four gruelling back-to-back 15-minute motos with 1-2-3-2 results to clinch the overall by 18 points.

Following a dry qualifying session this morning in supreme weather conditions, a massive rainstorm ripped through Broadford’s State Motorcycle Sport Complex as the Open class proceedings got underway, leaving riders to negotiate tricky conditions to complete the round.

Mackenzie avoided the carnage to race to the Pro Open overall, the perfect way to open up his season and he’s confident he’ll be a title contender throughout the nine-round series.

"It's a great start to the season for me," the 26-year-old beamed. "I hoped for better conditions, but these technical conditions suit my style. I’ve been training hard over the summer and I feel ready for the year ahead. Hopefully we have better conditions next time so we can all push and see what everyone’s got in the dry."

Second overall behind Mackenzie was Kiwi Cody Cooper, the Rockstar Motul Suzuki title contender experiencing bad luck to start the season in races one and two – affected by a bad start in moto one and then a crushing first lap fall in race two.

In a determined effort, Cooper was able to claw himself back onto the podium with a pair of stunning victories in the final two motos of the day, scoring 7-14-1-1 race results for the round.

"Qualifying was awesome, but when it started raining real hard I got two terrible starts in races one and two," Cooper explained. "For the final motos I got good starts and checked out, really. I’m happy with second overall and we’ll progress from here."

First Australian home in the Open class was standout 21-year-old rookie Lawson Bopping, the Pirelli Raceline Suzuki rider’s day highlighted by a popular victory in race two. Bopping finished with 4-1-2 results in the opening three races, before a flat tyre in the fourth and final race forced him to settle for 16th.

"I'm stoked to be on the podium overall – third is an awesome start," Bopping said. "I thought it was going to be hot but then it rained really hard, so I’m just pumped to be on the podium."

Victorian favourite Cheyne Boyd finished a fine fourth overall in his debut for Carlton Dry Honda Racing, taking advantage of a consistent effort but missing out on the podium by just one point.

A single point further back was another debutant in the Open class, with Ryan Marmont (JDR Motorex KTM) rounding out the top five after an exceptional second place in race one marked his best performance of the round.

Marmont’s elder brother Jay, who is the defending three-time MX Nationals champion, had to settle for ninth overall to commence his 2011 title defence, the 27-year-old now looking to rebound at round two next month.

The series will now return to Sydney at the Appin circuit in New South Wales for round two on 3 April.

2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals Championship Points

1. Billy Mackenzie (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 89 points
2. Cody Cooper (Rockstar Motul Suzuki) 71
3. Lawson Bopping (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 70
4. Cheyne Boyd (Carlton Dry Honda Racing) 69
5. Ryan Marmont (JDR Motorex KTM) 68
6. Dean Ferris (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 63
7. Josh Coppins (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 52
8. Louis Calvin (Herb Watson Racing KTM) 51
9. Jay Marmont (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 47
10. Michael Phillips (Carlton Dry Honda Racing) 44

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