The Grand Prix of Qatar was a heavy one for the British contingent in the FIM Motocross World Championship with almost all of the established riders from the UK picking up an injury of some degree at Losail for the series opener last Saturday.
Arguably one of the worst affected is Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie. The 2014 Belgian GP winner had a scary crash while chasing a top three position in the second MX2 moto (you can watch it below) and even though he walked away from the accident, he required medical checks in Doha that revealed damage to his neck and right shoulder.
Although the extent of the shoulder problem has not been communicated by the team, Anstie has flown back to the UK from Qatar instead of heading to Thailand where the majority of the paddock is now adjusting to suffocating temperatures reaching almost 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Update: In a statement released by DRT, Team Manager Steve Dixon he commented: “Unfortunately on Saturday through no fault of his own another rider stalled in front of Max, causing him to cut his foot open on another the rider’s footpeg. Max required stitches and painkillers to ride, causing a lack of feeling in his foot.
“In the second race Max crashed on the double jump, luckily only leaving him with internal bruising and ligament tearing. Max and the Team have made the decision that riding this week [in Thailand] could result in a much longer time out, but with some care and physio Max will hopefully be strong and back for the first round of the Maxxis British Championship or Argentina.
“We are really happy with Max’s speed and this is a real shame but it’s a long season.”
The Watson brothers intend to race in Nahkonchaisri. Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna’s Nathan Watson has recovered from the slight concussion he suffered in the accident that ended his GP debut as a full-time MXGP racer.
The same jump and heavy landing also claimed his younger brother Ben in Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM colours in MX2. Ben has apparently aggravated his right thumb; countryman and Red Bull KTM rider Tommy Searle has the same ailment and has been resting and treating his hand this week to evaluate whether he can compete to a satisfactory level of performance in Thailand.
Searle had pain-killing injections while in Qatar but still pulled out of the second MXGP moto after one lap. Ben Watson’s team-mate, Shaun Simpson, is also carrying a slight limp from a sore right ankle but should be fine for the second round this weekend.