Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie and Max Nagl have ended the second round of the 2016 Motocross World Championship with respective runner-up and third place second moto results at the GP of Thailand, bringing the Asian leg of the MXGP series to a positive close for Husqvarna.
Surviving the near 40-degree heat and stifling humidity Max Nagl kicked off the weekend with a promising seventh position in the MXGP Qualifying Race. Nagl then made a good start in the opening MXGP race. Racing in seventh position for most of the moto the German had a small crash that caused damage to his radiator and forced him to retire. Nagl returned stronger in moto two, coming close to securing the holeshot and racing in second place for the majority of lap one. Nagl rode a fast and steady moto to earn a well-deserved third place result.
Getting his weekend off to a highly positive start Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s MX2 rider Max Anstie was third in Saturday’s Qualifying Race. Anstie made a promising start to MX2 race one but a mistake pushed him off the track before the end of lap one. The Brit quickly regrouped and started working his way forward but a technical issue forced him to retire. Anstie finally got the chance to demonstrate his true potential in moto two. Starting outside the top 10 the Brit made numerous passes to earn a strong runner-up position and collect precious championship points.
Continuing to build on his speed Christophe Charlier had a very positive weekend of MXGP racing in Thailand. Powering his FC 450 to a strong start in the opening moto the Frenchman found himself battling inside the top five. Fighting it out with the MXGP elite for the first time this year, Charlier crossed the line in 10th position. Making another top 10 start in moto two Charlier struggled with fatigue and placed 16th.
Battling with sickness throughout the weekend Thomas Covington showed impressive speed. Getting off to a brilliant start in the opening MX2 race the American found himself racing with the top MX2 riders, eventually placing fifth. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider had another good jump out of the gate in race two but a crash early in lap one resulted in him not finishing the moto.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at round three of the FIM Motocross World Championship in The Netherlands on March 27/28.
Max Nagl: “Getting third in moto two in Thailand is a good reward for the hard work we’ve been putting in. It was a difficult GP for everybody due to the extreme heat and humidity. I had a good start in the first race and was racing in seventh position for a very long time but I had a crash. It was nothing too serious but caused damage to the bike with the radiator loosing all of its coolant. It was impossible to continue. I almost got the holeshot in race two and was second after a few turns. I got passed by two riders but managed to fight back for third. My speed was good and I just rode consistently to the finish. We may have lost some points in moto one but overall I’m feeling really good on the bike. I’m glad this difficult GP is over and we’re now heading back to Europe.”
Christophe Charlier: “We continued to make progress in Thailand despite harsh conditions. It was a very difficult GP and not having spent so much time on my FC 450 after the injury I struggled with my physical condition. I had very good starts in both motos, which is highly positive. But with the heat taking its toll on me, I started feeling tired soon and decided to ride smart. At the closing stages of moto two I felt pain in my injured knee too. My goal now is to get checked by my doctor in Belgium and continue to work hard in order to be 100% ready for the following round of the series in The Netherlands.”
Max Anstie: “We learned a few things here in Thailand and made some more steps in the right direction. Unfortunately, the first race didn’t go as planned due to a mechanical. But we came back stronger in the second race. We went to work and made the best of the situation. I didn’t get a great start, but I was working with the bike and managed to get second. It’s nice we now have two weeks off. We’ll be able to continue building on what we learned. I hope I can get a little bit stronger too. It was the first weekend that my body felt good and that was a very positive thing ahead of the long season.”
Thomas Covington: “It was a difficult weekend for me but I’m happy I got a good finish in moto one. I’ve been struggling with food poisoning since Saturday so haven’t been eating much and couldn’t sleep a lot either. The first moto was really good. I didn’t feel great from the sickness but I got a decent start and managed to keep a steady pace. It felt good to battle with the top guys and earn fifth. I gave it all in the first moto so had nothing left for the second race. My body just shut down after a few corners. Overall I’m feeling good going back to Europe. I just need some time to get my strength back and then I’ll be ready for round three in Valkenswaard.”