Britain’s Max Anstie was king for a day at this year’s Motocross of Nations.
Staged on his home turf at Matterley Basin, just outside Winchester, it probably comes as no surprise that he was spurred on greatly by the parochial crowd, but, in fairness, he’d already shown his winning potential when he’d raced to victory during qualification day at the final Grand Prix of the year in France just two weeks earlier.
The British fans really get into this MXoN thing – air horns blared and chainsaws barked throughout the event, but were like a Mexican wave of sound when Anstie was on track, the cacophony of sound heralding his progress every lap as he became the only rider to win more than one moto on race day.
To the crowd’s delight, Anstie fended off the advances of Slovenia’s Tim Gajser and Frenchman Gautier Paulin in the MXGP/MX2 race and then batted away the probing attacks of Frenchman Romain Febvre and Dutchman Jeffery Herlings in the MXGP/Open Class race that wound up the day.
And so, the various class winners at this year’s MXoN were Anstie, with his 1-1 in the MXGP class, Herlings, who finished 1-2 for the Open class and young Australian Hunter Lawrence, with 4-8 in the MX2 class.
Anstie was certainly king that day. The question now is can Anstie do it again and again next season when the GPs swing back into gear? We bet the likes of Herlings and 2017 MXGP world champion Antonio Cairoli will be hoping he can’t.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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