“I would like to go back and race supercross at some point.”

Stability is something that Max Anstie has lacked throughout his professional career, some may argue, as he has never spent more than a single year with one manufacturer. That is all set to change, however, as he is entering the first of three years with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing.

The change arises after two successful years with Steve Dixon, where Max transformed into a title contender and consistent race winner for the first time. Although he’ll have different people around him, he is hoping to take what he learnt this year to Jacky Martens’ squad.

“I hope that I look like one of the contenders who can go for the title – I feel like this year prepared me for that. This year we went as hard as we could and I’ve learnt a lot of things. I hope that next year I can take all of those things, be a little bit stronger and be another fifty points up the leaderboard.”

Why fifty points? That amount of points sat between Max and that elusive world title when the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship came to a close. He could have quite easily overcome that deficit, had he not missed a round earlier in the year. In order to contend you have to survive the wear and tear that eighteen rounds around the globe will have on your body, however, and that will be his priority when the new season begins.

Anstie has one last season aboard the 250F, so this is crunch time for ‘99’. If he doesn’t put all of the knowledge he has obtained in recent years to good use, he’ll have to give up on his goals of being an MX2 world champion and look to the premier MXGP division. His new contract with Husqvarna clearly states that he has committed to starting his 450F career on this side of the pond, which reaffirms the fact that Anstie has his sights set on success in Europe rather than the bright lights of America.

Max was once set on making a name for himself stateside, although he now admits that the lure has evaporated somewhat. “To be honest it’s a weird one, because Glen Helen was the first time that I’ve raced back in America – it’s been a long time. I went back and it was okay, I like it over there, but I did miss home. I was excited to come back to England. I feel like I’ve got a good base and a good group of people surrounding me; I’m just happy with where I’m at. I’ve grown with that and got little simple things like my girlfriend, my mum and even my dad when he comes over.

“I feel like I’ve got a good relationship with the people around me now and everything is pretty stable. When I went to America everything was a bit alien – it was how I used to be when I was younger. That being said, one way or another, my goal is to win a world title or at least go for one. I’d like to do that for the next few years.”

Despite this, Max admits that he feels he has unfinished business in supercross and would like to one day have another go at grabbing the win that he came close to in San Diego in 2010. “I would like to go back and race supercross at some point but, whether I go back and race full-time, I don’t know. I feel like I’ve built my way up here in Europe and I don’t want to start again. I like flying to the race, I know the tracks and I feel happy. I’m comfortable. You need that base to go and fight for a championship.”

The unified worldwide effort that Husqvarna have created could provide the perfect platform for Max to try his hand at Monster Energy Supercross one last time, but right now it is clear that his sights are set on world championship glory. He’ll be carrying the weight of expectation when he arrives in Qatar, however, so it’s not just a manufacturer change that he’ll have to deal with.

Words: Lewis Phillips

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