Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Max Anstie comes back with a fourth

anstie 220x145 Max Anstie comes back with a fourth

Max Anstie of Kawasaki Team CLS rebounded from injury to equal his best-ever GP performance in the 8th round of the FIM World Motocross Championship at Uddevalla in Sweden.

The English teenager had been severely shaken two weeks ago when he crashed at the Spanish GP and was clearly still struggling to settle down during qualification on Saturday as he could only earn 14th choice of gate, but when the gate dropped for the start of the opening race he immediately showed the rugged determination which has already become his hallmark in this, his rookie GP season. Quickly established in 4th place, he never looked in danger of losing that place, indeed by the finish he had closed to within four seconds of the Dutch teenager Herlings who is currently running second in the points chase. Another strong ride in race two, again starting fourth and only losing a place to team leader Tommy Searle, ensured Max of fourth place overall in the GP, equaling his previous best result at the US GP in May. This excellent performance has raised Max one place in the standings to seventh, and, but for that unfortunate Spanish GP, he would undoubtedly be ranked fifth, a great achievement in this, his first year of GP racing.

Searle meanwhile saw his title challenge suffer an unfortunate hiccup as another rider ran into his machine at the first corner of the opening moto, inflicting damage to the casings which led to a loss of engine oil and caused his subsequent retirement from the race. As always when a rider has failed to finish the opening race, it inevitably took Searle several laps to discover the best lines in the second race and, although he battled his way through to fourth place at the finish and was closing in on the first three, the early advantage they had gained proved just too great for him to catch them. He remains third in the standings, but the first moto misfortune means that the points gap to the series leader has increased slightly. However, with seven GPs – and thus 14 points-scoring motos – remaining, both rider and team remain undaunted in their chase for the crown.

Max Anstie: ?I felt strong in both races today, and I was close to the podium with two top five positions. Yesterday I was struggling with the track and some other things, but today was different and I was stronger all day. I didn’t expect to be so strong but I felt good this morning; in the first race I surprised myself, and finished just four seconds behind Herlings! Then in the second one I had another good race for fifth to get my best result since the US GP. The track was slippery and hard to pass, but it was the same for everyone and I got a good start on both motos; my thanks to the team who prepared me a perfect bike.?

Tommy Searle: ?It?s so stupid to put gravel in the first turn, I don?t know why we have gravel on a motocross track at all! They do it this year in every first turn and there’s always trouble; I slid a little bit and Van Horebeek hit me and made a hole in the engine casings. I made a small mistake later but anyway the bike stopped as there was no more oil in the engine. This is just bad luck I think. My second start was better, but I got caught with someone in the second corner and I was maybe tenth. It?s so difficult from there when riders such as Roczen, Herlings or Paulin get a good start; I was able to come back to fourth and even closed on them a little but the gap was too big and on a track as slippery as this you have to be very careful. I don?t think I had the best lines today, but for sure next week will be another story.?

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