British motocross fans who attend the fifth round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Hawkstone Park on July 21 are in for a real treat.
Not only does the event mark the return of Suffolk speedsters Jake Nicholls and Elliott Banks-Browne to the MX1 class of the series but the first draft of the official pre-entry list also includes the wildest of wildcards – two-time Maxxis MX1 champion Billy MacKenzie.
It’s 20 years since the now 35-year-old Scot made his debut in the British championship series and six summers since he last raced seriously – okay, there have been various one-offs like this but nothing full-on – so it’s unlikely MacKenzie will feature at the sharp end of the pack. However, his amazingly technical riding style and potential choice of machine will still make him one to watch on the day and we can’t wait.
In recent times Billy Mac has fallen in love with his Super Evo class Honda CR500 and is highly potent on it too. Regular readers of Dirt Bike Rider will remember that Billy raced a CR500 in the final moto of the final round of the Maxxis series way back in 2008 and was running a solid second up until the motor mounts shook loose and MacKenzie had to drop out of the running.
A man of few words at the best of times Billy simply said “Just need to finish my last race from 2008,” when we asked him about it on social media but he’s always been one to let his riding do the talking.
Being a bunch of a-holes we were quick to remind him what he told us in a DBR feature back in 2015 – “I’ve mastered motocross,” he told Sean Lawless at the time. “I’ve been doing it since I was six and I know how to ride a bike and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. All I need to do is be fit enough on a bike. I’m enjoying riding and I’m sure I’ve still got results in me.”
When we reminded him of that Billy said “I defo ain’t fit enough, but I’m enjoying riding and feeling comfortable on the 500. That combined is a perfect excuse! I’m just gonna go out and enjoy riding the 500 round a nicely prepped Hawkstone Park – it’s been a good track for me in the past.”
So if you wanna see one of the UK’s most technically proficient riders racing a bike from a different era against the UK’s fastest 450 pilots then you need to treat yourself to a day at the races on July 21.
Hawkstone Park is situated around 12 miles north-east of Shrewsbury slap bang between the A49 and A53 near the hamlet of Hopton. The postcode for SatNav users is SY4 4NA so you’ve got no excuses. We’ll see you there!