Max Anstie continued to show outstanding speed on the Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki as he raced to second place in the Dutch round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Assen.
The British rider had eased his way through qualification to earn second choice of start gate for the GP motos and moved quickly forward from an initial second place to shadow the early race leader in the opening moto until a momentary lapse of concentration saw him crash downfield; rejoining the race in 14th place he eventually finished ninth.
He made no mistakes in race two to win by 12 seconds and the combined result of both motos made him second on the day. Max remains third in the championship standings, 44 points behind the series leader.
“The team and myself have made a big step in recent weeks and now I can focus mainly on myself and my riding,” said Max Anstie. “It was cool to race here and the fans this weekend were amazing, but unfortunately I had a few issues. It’s a shame that I went down in the first moto; I was pushing a little bit hard but at the end of the weekend we come away with second overall on a bad day.
“It’s difficult for the championship now as we lost points earlier in the year; all I can do now is to do my job and ride as fast as possible to keep a chance for the title. It will be fun to end the season in Glen Helen; that’s the place where I rode my first professional race and where I raced my first ever GP.”
Thomas Covington of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team once more showed great speed in sand to qualify fifth, and the American teenager continued the form as he raced to sixth place in the opening GP moto. Quickly advancing from a 16th place start in race two, Thomas appeared to have every chance of a podium result, but a mistake as he entered a turn on the third lap pushed him to the back of the pack. Undaunted he charged hard to cross the line 11th for ninth overall in the GP. He is now 14th in the championship standings.
“It was a really tough GP here in Assen, but I got some pretty good results in the sand recently and I enjoyed the race,” Thomas Covington said. “The fans were amazing and I could hear them every lap! It was a cool event, and everything was going to plan with a good qualifying result in fifth, and then a sixth in the first race, but on the third lap of the second race I just lost the front wheel coming into a corner and it took me a long time to get my bike started again before I recovered from last to 11th for ninth overall. The track was really rough, on the same level as Lommel I think, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere; it was like Daytona but bigger.”
Team-mate Petar Petrov, a renowned sand expert, had high hopes of a podium result after taking first and second places in the two practice sessions, but difficulties with suspension set-up during qualification restricted him to 20th position and a good start in the GP motos proved virtually impossible from the subsequent position at the start gate. A rapid advance through the pack took the Bulgarian to seventh place in the opening race before he was forced to retire, but he rebounded in race two to finish fifth. Petar continues to hold 10th in the championship standings.