Max Anstie might be a free agent for the 2019 season but at the moment he’s riding like a guy that should have been snapped up a long time ago.
The Brit got back on the box again in Assen finishing third overall behind Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli who are arguably the two fastest motocross riders in the world.
We caught up with Anstie to discuss his podium, the Motocross Des Nations and the fact he’s a free agent for the 2019 as things stand.
Gatedrop: Max, back on the podium again here at Assen. You must be delighted with your weekend?
Max Anstie: Exactly, it was a good weekend. It was tough, the track is always tough here but it was a definitely a cool atmosphere. Riding with Glenn (Coldenhoff), the fans were crazy! It’s nice to be on the box at a technical track, it’s good to do it here.
Gatedrop: Are you a fan of the track here in Assen? Obviously the facilities are first class but in terms of the track are you a fan? I personally quite like it but I know some riders aren’t fans of it..
Max Anstie: It’s different, the atmosphere is very cool. It’s tight and it’s just different. Even the feel of how it is. It is sandy but it doesn’t get whoopy sandy like Lommel and there’s not much rhythm like at a Lommel kind of track, if you know what I mean. This year it wasn’t completely soaking wet so that was good. It’s cool and something different. It’s another part of the world championship, you can go to Loket and maybe not like that. I wouldn’t come here and say I love it but I just deal with it.
Gatedrop: You mentioned there about going to different kind of tracks. Do you think that’s what makes you guys the best riders in the world? You have to be versatile and ride any kind of track.. to get good results anyway!
Max Anstie: Exactly. I think it’s a lot of things, you know? The team makes a massive difference too with the setup, bike and knowing the settings of everything, knowing what to do and making you feel comfortable. We do our training and try to train on all different conditions but it’s not easy. Also, different riders also prefer different kinds of tracks. I seem to be good in the sand although I like the hardpack stuff and I am good on it. I just seem to find it easier to get on the podium or get good results in the sand for some weird reason, I don’t really know why. It is what it is.
Gatedrop: You’ve recently been selected by team GB to race the Motocross Des Nations at RedBud next month. Are you looking forward to going back to America again, you used to race there! Also what’s your goals at the event as an individual and as a Nation too?
Max Anstie: Exactly, it’s going to be fun. I think RedBud is a cool track, I did ride there in 2009 and with Tommy (Searle) and maybe in 2010 too but I can’t remember if Tommy was there then as well. RedBud is a cool track and a cool place, I am looking forward to it.
I can’t really do any better than what I did last year (laughs). I don’t really know what to expect, I am just going to go there and do the best that I can. I am MX3/Open this year to give Tommy and the guys a little bit more time with the bike and things between moto’s. Speaking to Mark (Chamberlain) and things that was the best choice because it gives me less time between moto’s which for me is fine but as a team we are trying to go for the best results for the team – not just individually. If it was individually I would just want to do MX1 because then I’d get more time off and be able to push a bit harder but it’s for the team. I don’t know who’s going to start first or who’s going to go on the outside or whatever. I do feel that Ben (Watson) has been riding really well, Tommy has been on it and I know he’ll be on it over there. He definitely steps up for the Des Nations and on the hard pack tracks he’s been going really well. I think it’s going to be cool and nice for team GB, especially after last year getting on the box and doing that. It’s cool to have a single digit number as well.
Gatedrop: Do you know when you’ll travel over there yet? Having a GP the weekend before isn’t ideal!
Max Anstie: Yeah, Tuesday. Straight after Imola I will fly back to Belgium and then I think I’ll fly from Amsterdam to Chicago on the Tuesday.
Gatedrop: I spoke to you at the Zwarte Cross were you confirmed that you wouldn’t be with Rockstar Husqvarna next year. Although it sounded like a few weeks ago there was a chance you could stay with them but it seems like from what I’ve heard that’s not going to happen?
Max Anstie: Exactly, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. It’s a strange situation but it is what it is and I am trying to just get on the box and put myself out there so I can get something good.
Gatedrop: Have you any offers at all on the table?
Max Anstie: No, not really. I did actually look into going to America and things with Husqvarna over there. I really wanted to go with Bobby Hewitt over there, that would have been cool to stay with Husqvarna but no, they were full. I’ve spoken to pretty much everyone that I can. It’s a tough situation you know, a lot of teams are going with two riders and changing from having more riders to less and things like that. I think it’s just an unfortunate situation were many guys are also in two or multiple year deals. It’s the way that it is and there’s a lot more behind it than what you see on the outside. There’s a lot more on the business side of it. I’ve got no hard feelings with anything and I’m just focused on doing the best job I can do. I also know it’s the way it goes, it’s not like I’m going to be pissed off because it didn’t work out in my way. There’s a whole other side of it and a business side of it, I just have to make the best of the situation and do the best job that I can.
Interview: Andy McKinstry