Hampshire-based Scottish motocross star Billy Mackenzie is easing the pain of a nightmare year.

Injury problems have kept the BikeIt Dixon Yamaha star on the sidelines for most of the season, but now he's fit again Mackenzie is producing the kind of form which made him a British Championship runner-up two years ago.

The young Scot thrust himself into contention for a Motocross Des Nations call-up with a fine victory in the first round of the British Championship event at Arreton on the Isle of Wight.

Then he followed up with his best performance of the season in the World Championship with seventh place in the Grand Prix of Ireland with seventh place overall aboard a YZ450 four-stroke machine similar to the one rode by Belgian ace Sefan Everts who chalked up his eighth world title.

Mackenzie forged ahead of many grand prix regulars with 12th and sixth places on the sandtrack at Ballykelly but his Yamaha teammate Andrew McFarlane, who was running top three in the championship, was again sidelined by a shoulder injury.

Former Australian champion McFarlane was also a non starter in the Isle of Wight but still finished third in the final standings of the MX2 Championship, won again by Scotland's Stephen Sword.

Mackenzie looked comfortable around the Gore Basin track at Arreton and won the opening MX2 race in some style.

He also grabbed the holeshot second time out and led the world-class Tyla Rattray for several laps before the South African squeezed past. Mackenzie stayed in his wheeltracks befored sliding off and twisting his ankle - thankfully not seriously.

The signs are that Mackenzie will be staying with the Swanmore-based Yamaha team, with team principle Steve Dixon revealing that talks are under way with the Tichfield rider for 2005.