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Interview: Max Anstie

Interview: Max Anstie
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After another good year in MX2 where he finished fourth overall, Max Anstie will move up to the MXGP class in 2017, and he might just surprise some people!

Anstie’s riding style is well suited to a big bike and he will remain on Husqvarna giving him the stability he needs after a few years moving manufacturers. Anstie showed good form on a 450 machine back in 2012 when he won a British championship round and rode well at the MXDN in Lommel, but next season will be the real litmus test for the talented Brit.

Our friends at Station MX sent us over this interview, click here to read the interview in French.

Max, you’ve started riding the 450 Husqvarna, what’s your first impression with the bike?

Max Anstie: We have done well, the team and I have done a lot of riding and stuff since the Nations, we have done some good testing and good work. It’s nice to be riding with my team mates now, we’ve got some good work done and the bike is working well.

The MXGP class is super stacked for 2017, are you nervous for the year ahead?

Max Anstie: No, I mean we still have a few months of testing and things to do but I feel that I am with the best team in the pits now and that I have a great opportunity to go and do my job. It’s great, the people around me are all awesome and I have a great group so all I can do is focus on myself. It makes it a lot easier when you have a group of people around you like these guys. At the moment everything is promising and I’m feeling good.

Do you feel pressure to perform next year? We have saw Charlier get axed from the team after only just one year.

Max Anstie: Not really because it’s my first year. I think it will be nice, I know I’m going to the 450 but I’m still on the same bike with the Husqvarna and it’s been an easier change, an easy transition. I’m still working with some of the same guys I worked with last year so it’s easier, they know what I like and they know how things work. To be honest it’s been an easy change and with that I think next year we have the best opportunity to go and do our job. I think it will allow to me to go and do my job to the best I have ever done it. This feels like the best bike I’ve ever been on and with the best team I’ve ever had, I just want to go ride and race, that’s it.

Everyone always talks about how fast the MXGP class is but you have been in MX2 for a number of years now, what’s your thoughts on the class? Do you think it’s under rated – the last two MXGP champs came from that class after all!

Max Anstie: Yeah, obviously the last MXGP Champions were MX2 Champions as well but I think it’s just the way the younger guys are pushing and pushing hard, that’s the way MX2 is. For me, I wasn’t ready to go to MXGP until now because there’s no point going MXGP without a good team and factory support. I’ve put myself in the position and it’s been my plan for the last five years to get myself here and now it begins. It’s been from five years ago when I was getting lapped and being at the back, it’s always been my goal to push my way forward and get myself onto a factory team, be healthy, be fit, be strong and have everything come together – then go 450 with the best team and strong bike. This makes my life as easy as possible and allows me to go and do my job and I want to do well. I think that the MX2 guys have shown that the speed is fine going into MXGP and my first impression is good, I feel good.  I’ve ridden a 450 a little bit before so I feel good on it and I think it’s going to be an exciting 2017 season.

What’s your thoughts on the MX2 age rule? Would you still be in that class without it or was the plan to always move up to MXGP?

Max Anstie: It’s a difficult one. I had my contract with ICE ONE for a year already so I knew that I had the deal and that the deal was done. When I first went to Husqvarna I had a deal to go to the factory 450 team. I mean the goal in MX2 is to put yourself in a good position so that you have one of the best teams to go 450 with, that should be in the goal in MX2 and that was my goal. Yeah, it was difficult and I didn’t do the best I could have done in the championship this year after I broke my back and injured my neck at Ernee during the Nations, it took me a long time to get better. I think if I had of stayed MX2 I had a good team and the bike was good, I learnt a lot this year. I think if I could have stayed MX2 then yeah the results would have been really strong this year, I feel like I could have gone for the championship, I’m healthy and I am ready to do that. On the other side of it I have a great team to go 450 with so I also feel that I can push for good results on the 450.

You will work with Antti Pyronen next year, he seems to always get the best out of his riders. Are you looking forward to working with him?

Max Anstie: Yeah, he’s great, Antti is great. It’s difficult because I think a lot. I have always been used to think about everything like the bike, training, everything involved to be better and better. That is how I have always been but Antti always tells me “not to think, we’ll make the bike great and you just go and ride!” It’s been a lot easier with that, they have the full package, everything is there and it’s ready for when I go riding. It’s great to be a part of this, it’s not just Antti though, it’s the whole team – they all have the same mentality. Obviously, I think that comes from the Formula1 side with having Kimi Raikkonen involved as well, I think it pushes the professionalization of the team and that makes us more professional than other motocross teams.

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