Bike It Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie shows unrivaled speed at the first round of the MX2 World Championship…The first GP of a new season always arrives with excessive levels of anticipation and excitement, and the floodlit track of Losail, Qatar, provided racing that kept teams and viewers alike hanging on to the edge of their seats. A bittersweet weekend for #99 of Max Anstie but a very promising start nonetheless.
Despite struggling with stomach problems on the Friday for qualifying, Max Anstie pulled through to finish sixth. With the team worried if Max would be able to compete for the main races, the considering results impressed everyone.
The first race of the MX2 season began with Anstie grabbing a great jump off the gate, allowing him to bypass the collisions occurring behind him and securing the third position. Second position was his not long after, and with his eyes firmly set on Butron in first place, Max skillfully pushed past to gain the lead, eventually extending his lead to +6 seconds over Butron in second. Max lead the race for 20 minutes before an unfortunate mechanical problem caused him to stop, leading to an eventual DNF.
After the bittersweet end of the first race, hopes were high for race 2 as Anstie was clearly capable of not only getting a great start, but also of gaining the lead and holding it. Another successful start out of the gate put Max into a very similar position as the first race, missing out narrowly on the Holeshot, and overtaking Butron within minutes of the race start to take the lead. As the gap opened, it seemed like there was no stopping Max until 4 laps from the finish, a stall held him up and pushed him back to 17th place, with his final position being 19th. The team is confident in Max’s abilities, and the message sent out to fellow MX2 riders is a clear one as he proves his capabilities on the track.
MXGP rider Rui Goncalves finished 17th in both race one and two of the Qatar GP, grabbing 18th overall (whilst suffering from the flu!) giving a consistent start to 2014 and a solid base for the coming season.
MX2 riders Magne Klingshiem #67 and Anton Lundgren #274 kept calm and stuck together for the majority of both races, coming 19th and 20th respectively in the first race, and 21st and 24th in the second.
Max : “On Saturday I was very sick, I did not think I was going to have the energy to do as well as I could not eat anything on Sunday but I just got out there and did what I had to do to win, unfortunately the bike stopped with about 3 laps to go, but that’s racing. I have the most amazing bike I have ever ridden and these things happen in motorsport. The next race I made an awesome pass on Butron as I was the first rider to do the double jump. I held a comfortable lead until 3 laps to go when I just stalled it into a corner and then I just didn’t have the energy and composure to fire the bike straight away and lost like 18 places and then I got back to 17th. Whilst it was disappointing as I should have had 50 points and a podium, I know I have the speed and the bike to finally prove I can be at the top.”
Rui : “The track was a little tricky with the loose surface, I have ridden a lot of sand lately to get my base fitness up, I felt I needed to make the bike less powerful for this type of surface, myself and my mechanic Victor are getting the bike dialed in and you will see a fast Rui soon, but I am happy we are working towards a good plan for the season”.
Anton : “This is a whole new experience and to score points in my first GP was great, I am only young but I feel it was a good decision to have learning year in the GP’s to get used to the speed and the fitness level.”
Magne : “The same as Anton, it was good to get the first GP points and lose some of the nerves I had coming into this event, if we can just keep learning then we will have some good results at the end of the season.”
Steve : “I’ve been doing GP’s for 25 years now, I an used to the highs and lows, but a bike failure is hard to take. We work hard to have the best 250f and sometimes things are out of our hands, it all looked good for Max’s second race but again 3 laps till the end Max he stalled it but the fans on TV thought it had broke again, luckily he was able to get going again but lost a lot of places. With Rui, Anton and Magne I am happy the are all building towards a solid season, Rui showed his class over the Quad jump and once we get the power delivery more suited to him in race situations he will do well.”