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AFTER A TURBULENT 12 MONTHS DOWN UNDER WE CATCH UP WITH FORMER BRITISH CHAMPION BILLY MACKENZIE TO FIND OUT HOW L|FE'S TREATING HIM ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD...

interview by Matty Muir Photos by Matty Muir and Rudi Baker

With the Aussie national and SX championships done and dusted, we catch up with Down Under British wonder Billy MacKenzie to discover his views on a season that's delivered some great resu|ts, handed out some nasty injuries and shown plenty of promise...

DBR: So Billy, how would you describe your 2010 season?

BM "A lot of fun. It's been a lovely change from the chaos of back home and whatnot. |t's been great meeting new people, riding nice tracks and gelling so well with the team. I definite^ seem to have had the break that I needed after having such a bad 2009 and I've loved every second of it."

DBR: Do you still feel that you made the right decision by coming to Australia to race? BM: "Yeah, 100 per cent. You know I've talked to a lot of people back home and I kn°w there are a lot of guys struggling for rides and to get the deals they deserve. And being in a sport that's so dangerous, it's nice to come and enjoy the sport like when I first began racing and at the same time get paid to do it. This is what being here has given me and it has worked out so well. I definitely made the right decision."

DBR: Obviously things didn't go quite as planned on your trip to the US with you coming away injured and unable to compete for most of the SX series in Australia. But is something like another AMA guest ride worth risking a shot at a championship?

BM: "Well providing Kawasaki will let me then yes. I really just want to go and race and go with the flow. I'll follow the path wherever it takes me next and in the case of the AMA ride, we||, it just popped up and it was just something I couldn't turn down. Also for next year I want to do the GP at Matterley Basin. My season ends early here and on the calendar it says I can do it. So providing everyone is okay with it that is another opportunity I will pursue."

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Billy had the Aussie s on points podium aftei

Is a full-time ride In the US series still your ite goal?

I'm not sure. Look, I came to Australia to SX. Obviously if I went and did SX in ica at the moment it wouldn't end well, as Steel City. I wouldn't be prepared ]h. With what Australia is offering at the snt and the tracks and the pace being a bit r than the States it suits me. See how I go m up the front in next year's series and ig with the top guys then, yeah, I guess it be a career move."

In the limited amount of time you got to do is year how have you adapted to it? It was a bit difficult in the beginning but I lot of that was bike set-up. I didn't have a time after coming back from injury as the was already so busy with their other riders. my team manager Troy Carroll was able to volved more with me it helped so much. is the experience and not only helped me :et-up but with my own riding as well. That en things really started to click and I really id to enjoy it."

"So second place at your first SX in alia followed by another second in the next - were you surprised with those results? Well I was in the first race, very surprised lly because I had not raced since Steel City ;n since the last round of MX nationals in st. But I have a good bunch of friends i I ride and train with and while training hose guys I kind of got a good feeling.

I knew I could do it and I'm gl now take that confidence into hopefully do better."

DBR: Do you feel a series like European guys new to SX wh make it in the US? BM: "I'm not entirely sure. I m few good European series no from home somewhere like th Me, I'm just one of those guy been on the move pretty mucl racing so I'm not bothered by people would probably have a used to it here. Overall that's for me to answer and would m the individual person."

DBR: So what are your plans season and what are you hop BM:"The plans are to stay he Kawasaki - we are in negotia moment and it looks like it's g Monster have come on board will be an official Monster Ene Kawasaki team here in Austra the same as Mitch Payton's te we are working closely with a Kawasaki teams throughout t info and so on. I really have la I'm in with the best team, on t and with the best guys behinc back and see people struggli in Europe then I just think to r on the ball and did well'."

DROPPIN'OFF!

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