Max Anstie interview

When talking to riders this winter, I kept hearing two things. Antonio Cairoli and Max Anstie are riding very fast. If it was from fellow team-mates, or their competition, it was clear these two guys have stepped it up a level.

For Anstie a moto victory in Hawkstone Park yesterday, and a runner-up overall place, it’s clear he is going in the right direction as he heads to Qatar for the opening Grand Prix of the season. Working with the super professional Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory team, and having a very relaxed team-manager like Antti Pyrhönen probably helps, and two strong team-mates in Max Nagl and Gautier Paulin has probably polished the young Brits performance.

Our guy at Hawkstone Park, David Bulmer caught up with Anstie and asked him about his weekend and also how his preparation is going. A very cool interview. Ray Archer images

MXLarge: Max, can you explain your day for me?

Anstie: Very positive. My feeling on the bike was good. In all three motos, whether it was bumpy or not, I felt good and I felt like I could push. It was nice. My made life difficult for myself. The first race I was riding well, I holeshot and was riding really well, but I don’t know what happened, but I broke my goggles on the second lap, maybe a rock hit them or something. I lost a whole roll of film. Was like, I had a 10 second lead and I thought right, I need to come in for a pit stop. So I went in for a pit stop, came back out, and came in third, and then was five seconds in front on the next lap, so I thought that was handy. I made life hard work in the first one. Second one, I holeshot again, but then on the second turn were everyone had been pushing out from the inside on the start, there was a soft spot and I hit off the bank. I came through really fast on this mud and I hit a bump and just highsided myself, it was just one of those things. I came through stronger, and I actually think it was a good thing to almost come through, and I passed a lot of names that I used to look up to. Had I holeshot and stayed in front I would have wondered how they got on and wondered how I would have done if I got a bad start. It’s a completely different race if you get a bad start. I felt good. Superfinal I didn’t have a good stsrt, I was on the concrete and slide, but I came through and I felt strong. That is the main thing, I feel strong and I feel like I am in a good position. It was an eventful day, stressful day.

MXlarge: How was it to be back in England?

Anstie: Its always stressful coming back to England because there are people everywhere and you don’t have much time. Its muddy and you don’t have much space. It’s hard to dial everything in, but overall it was good and it’s good to have these stressful things before Qatar.

MXLarge: Are you looking forward to starting your 450 career, the 250 career is over and this is the new Max Anstie?

Anstie: I think so. It’s just been good having an off-season where I haven’t changed brands. Although it’s still 250 to 450, but the bikes the same and I only feel like I have improved. I have just been able to do my work. Had I changed brands you spend the whole off-season testing and you don’t know where you are. I am happy and I have two good team-mates that I ride with all the time and they are two big names and big guys, proper fast guys, so it’s good to be a part of that, and I enjoy it.

MXLarge: You haven’t just got two, you have five strong team-mates in the MXGP and MX2. What is it like being part of such a strong bunch of guys?

Anstie: It’s amazing and the whole set-up, the work shop and every day we go out it’s like a moto, and in the gym we are pushing each other. I think that is how it needs to be there days. It’s really good.

MXlarge: What is your opinion on the MXGP class? There are a lot of fast guys. What is the aim?

Anstie: I would like to just be consistent. I mean I want to get to winning at some point, whether that is his year or next year, or in three years, it will be what it is. All I can do is do my work. I am not there to just roll around, to take part and make up the numbers, I am there to do a job. I don’t know where I am. I would like to think I can be consistent top five and get on the podium and build my way up, then that would be brilliant. Nothing is ever easy and I know there are a lot of fast guys. It kind of makes it easier, because in the 250 class, I would look at Jeffrey and be like, he was the only one I really looked at, because I knew on a good day I could beat everyone else, but now there are so many fast guys, it kind of forces you to just focus on yourself and that is a good thing really. There is always going to be somebody fast right behind you or in front of you, even if you get a good start, so you just need to focus on yourself, do your own laps. I feel good, like I said, I would like to be up there in the top five and just be consistent and I think with this team, its good enough to do that.