After just missing out on the podium in Russia, Max Anstie took his first MXGP podium of the year at the toughest race of the season!
The Englishman rode fantastic all day on Sunday coming from last in race one after hitting the gate to get all the way back to fifth. Then in race two he almost chased down a wilting Jeffrey Herlings for second in the waning laps of moto two, but third was enough to get the entertaining and friendly Anstie on the podium.
Anstie on the podium means the press conference is always good! His enthusiastic tales of his race weekend and sense of humour bring smiles not only to the press but also his fellow competitors sitting alongside him.
But it is no laughing matter when it comes to how well Max is riding this year, the 450 is really suiting his style and his podium has been well deserved.
Max spoke passionately about his team, his respect for Cairioli and his hopes for getting on the MXON team at the press conference as you can read below:
On his first podium:
“It’s awesome. I’ve been dreaming of this for a long time. It’s different in MX2, this year it’s tough, these guys are so fast. It’s just awesome to get my first podium it Italy. The fans are just crazy and to stand up there with Tony. It’s awesome to stand up there alongside him I have a lot of respect for all of these guys.
“I remember watching the 2006 MXON at Matterly Basin and watch Tony pass Ryan Villopoto and I just had a little bike, I was only 12 then! It’s amazing to even be in the same race!
“The first race was not easy – I hit the gate. I don’t know why I went a bit too soon! I had to come from the back so I pushed hard in the first one. In the second one I was better off the start, my body was a little bit heavy after the first one and Jeffrey came past me really fast, I was like, “man I need to go a bit faster.” He was pushing – and I couldn’t see the guys (in front). I don’t know what happened to him in the end but I focused on my race and did my thing, did my laps. I learnt that mistake in Russia a couple of weeks ago, I was in position to be second on the podium and I was thinking, ‘don’t crash, don’t crash, don’t crash – and then I crashed with one lap to go!’ So I learnt my mistake from there and just focused on my laps and my turns.”
“It’s going to be warm there too (Portugal). I couldn’t do it without my team. There are so amazing you have no idea. I’ve got Tommy and he literally keeps me on program every single second of the day and that’s why I feel good. From taking my blood to videoing me to telling me what training I need to do, they are really, really on it. My mechanics have done an awesome job, Anti with planning everything. We are here to do business and hopefully a few more races and I can keep improving.”
On the possibility of going to the MXON at Matterley Basin
“It would be amazing. We have spoken to Mark Chamberlain, he has done quite a good job, at Valkenswaard he got everyone together. Obviously it’s still way off at the moment. But I would love to, I was born there, I was born in Winchester and I remember watching the Nations there before but we will leave it up to Mark.
“I do want to say it’s a real shame about Shaun (getting injured again) I have got to know him recently over the last month and I know he has been working hard to come back from his last injury and now he’s got injured again. Hopefully he can have a speedy recovery and be back up there because he is a strong contender for the team as well.”