Motocross

Billy Mackenzie impressed with Rinaldi Yamaha’s professionalism

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Monster Energy Yamaha battled through hot and challenging conditions for the MX1 Grand Prix of Italy at Maggiora today and Billy Mackenzie managed 15th position overall on his wild-card appearance at the venue surrounded by 38,000 fans.

Billy Mackenzie flew in from Australia, to substitute for Steven Frossard in a one race appearance. The Scot has Grand Prix winning experience in both MX1 and MX2 and although he had precious little time to adapt to the YZ450FM and also had to re-familiarise with the Grand Prix format was nevertheless a relevant force on the MX1 stage.

Mackenzie made decent starts in the two motos and was hovering around the top five. The demands of the class he last graced in 2009 caught up with him and he rode to 16th in the first race.

Later in the day two falls on the opening lap ruined any chance of a top ten finish and he was 14th.

‰ÛÏBasically all I want to say is that I did not treat this race as a comeback or an appearance with something to prove." Mackenzie explained. "I was just really happy to be offered the chance to ride the factory Yamaha, which is something I looked up to my whole career watching Stefan [Everts] win titles.

It was cool to ride Maggiora and the fans were crazy. The team were really great and did everything I asked of them. I changed way too many parts and got a bit confused trying to find a set-up that I wanted but that was entirely my fault.

It is amazing to see how quickly and efficiently the Rinaldi crew work from the inside and it is obvious to see why the Dack and Rinaldi teams work so closely in a tight knit unit." Mackenzie commented regarding the relationship between his team back in Australia and the Factory team on the world stage.

"I‰Ûªm really happy to have experienced today and I‰Ûªll carry on racing in Australia as long as I‰Ûªm competitive. I‰Ûªm really enjoying it over there. I feel that my speed at that level is faster than what I showed today and I‰Ûªm a bit embarrassed with the first moto," the rider who currently sits third in the Australian National championship added.

"I tried my hardest in the second and did my best to put it up there but I crashed twice on the first lap and there was no coming back from that.‰Û

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