Anstie podiums in opening Thai MX2 race

Team Suzuki Press Office

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Max Anstie came a little closer to his maiden trophy on the factory-backed RM-Z250 as he registered a positive third position in the first MX2 moto for the Grand Prix of Thailand and the inaugural visit to the country for what was the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Unbearable heat created extremely difficult racing conditions at Si Racha. Mercifully cloudy conditions on Sunday nullified some of the intensity from the sun but the humidity and temperatures touching almost 35 degrees meant the Thai Grand Prix was a tough outing and watching for the 17,000 crowd.

Anstie rode strongly in the first MX2 outing and some consistent speed on his RM-Z 250 pulled him up to a comfortable third place. The Brit then faced the second Superfinal of 2013 and up against 450cc machinery was overwhelmed by the frantic intensity of the opening laps. The youngster has been trying to shake off effects of his crash at Losail the previous Saturday and the combination of the physical handicap and the poor start meant the chance of a trophy and spray of champagne slipped away with a lowly 31st spot and ninth overall.

Two first lap crashes hid a lot of good work by team mate Julien Lieber: The 18 year old fought back well from a first moto, first-lap tumble to reach a consolatory 13th spot. The Belgian again slipped-up in the hectic opening moments of the Superfinal and then faced a daunting trek through the field. Lieber’s efforts amounted to seventh in MX2 as the afternoon reached a close and he rescued 10th in the final classification.

The duo hold ninth (Lieber) and 10th (Anstie) positions in the formative MX2 World Championship standings and it’s back to Europe now for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe and rippling sand of Valkenswaard near the city of Eindhoven will reconvene the Grand Prix paddock for the Dutch round of the series on Monday April 1st.

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Julien Lieber : “That crash trying to scrub the jump made the first moto hard work. I was down in 27th and came back to 12th, so in the end it wasn’t a bad race although I did feel very tired afterwards. In the Superfinal I was sixth in the start, which was really good, but crashed again and had to repeat what I had done earlier! I tried my best and got up to seventh in the MX2 class. Overall it was a pretty good weekend. It was a hard track for the 250s and I don’t like that start with the 450s at all.”

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Max Anstie : “Since last week I’ve been trying to sort myself out a little bit because I’ve been taking painkillers after the crash in Qatar. I pushed hard in the first moto and made it happen but in the second one against the 450s it was a struggle. It was dodgy on the first lap and I hit a couple of 450s when they almost landed on me. I was way, way back. I pushed again but it didn’t come together. I didn’t put myself in a good position to do the job. It was a shame but we’re making improvements and third place in the first moto is alright. I still don’t feel 100% and where I should be and I’ve had a couple of big crashes in the last two weeks. We’ve got three weeks now before Valkenswaard and we’ll be strong and see what happens. We’ve done everything we possibly can but the results aren’t coming…yet! I want to thank all the guys and the team for the great job.”

MX2 Moto1 : 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 38:59.025; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:40.448; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), +0:46.613; 4. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:52.882; 5. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +0:56.827; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:01.620; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:08.162; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:13.475; 9. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +1:26.379; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:29.833; 12. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), +1:43.550.

Superfinal result : 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:29.807; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:17.338; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:19.927; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:32.228; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:39.004; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:48.891; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), +0:51.171; 8. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +0:59.330; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +1:05.281; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:12.554; 21. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), +1:50.311; 31. Max Anstie (GBR, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s).

MX2 Overall : 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 34 p.; 4. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 32 p.; 5. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), 31 p.; 6. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 31 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 25 p.; 10. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 23 p.

MX2 World Championship Standings : 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 100 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 82 p.; 3. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 69 p.; 4. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 65 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 63 p.; 6. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 60 p.; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 57 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), 56 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 47 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 37 p.

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