Going from strength to strength in his debut season in the MXGP class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie wrapped up round 11 of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship by claiming third overall at the MXGP of Lombardia in Italy. In the MX2 category, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Thomas Covington went 4/3 for third overall.
Kicking off the weekend at the sandy Ottobiano track on a high, Anstie got third during Saturday’s MXGP qualifying moto. Confident he could push for a top three GP result the Brit was faced with a mountain to climb after hitting the start gate in moto one.
Resuming the race from the back of the pack, Max put his head down and started making passes. Charging hard until the end the Brit finished moto one in an impressive fifth place. Able to show more of his impressive race pace in moto two, Max got off to a good start and rode a lonely race for third at the flag.
Enjoying a great feeling aboard his FC 450 machine despite tough conditions, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl put in two solid motos for fifth overall at the GP of Lombardia. Earning seventh in moto one and then fourth in moto two, the German collected 32 valuable points and moved up to eighth in the class’ provisional championship standings.
Putting in a solid performance in the Italian heat, Gautier Paulin was the third Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider to earn a spot inside the top six in the GP’s final standings. Getting third in moto one the Frenchman battled his way from a bad start in moto two to finish 10th. Earning 31 points Gautier moved back to second in the series’ points standings.
In the MX2 category, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington got off to a great start winning the class’ qualifying moto. Starting the first race outside the top 10, the American pushed hard and made a series of crucial passes for fourth at the chequered flag. With a better start in moto two Tomas was able to demonstrate his speed in the sandy track. Getting third in moto two he earned a spot on the MX2 podium.
For Covington’s teammate Thomas Kjer-Olsen the GP of Lombardia proved tougher than the young Dane had expected. Securing 10th in moto one Thomas came back stronger to get sixth in moto two.
Battling through the Italian heat, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Conrad Mewse collected 14/20 results for 18th overall at the GP of Lombardia.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at round 12 of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship in Agueda, Portugal on July 1/2.
Max Anstie: “We’ve all been working really hard and I’m happy we’re making big steps forward. It’s been a great GP for us and I’m happy I earned my first podium result in the class. My start in the first moto was far from ideal. I hit the gate at the start and had to push really hard to make up the time lost. Despite the heat and the rough track I felt good on my bike so managed to get fifth at the line. Then in moto two my start was a lot better. After finding myself in third I tried to keep my head down and do my job. I’d like to thank all our team members for their hard work and dedication. It’s been a team effort and we’ll continue pushing hard for better results.”
Max Nagl: “To be honest, we all struggled with the intense heat. Especially on Saturday conditions were far from ideal. I pushed hard in the qualifying moto to get fourth. Getting a good gate pick for the final motos gave me some extra confidence. My start in moto one wasn’t bad at all and I managed to make a few passes soon after. Everything was working well and I was able to do my own race for seventh at the finish. Trying to push hard I also wanted to save some energy for the second moto. I had a better start in moto two and as the race was going on I felt I could push even more. I ended up fourth for fifth overall and I’m satisfied with that. We were very close to the podium and we also managed to find a good suspension setup which will be of use in the races to come.”
Gautier Paulin: “I had a good start to my weekend in Italy. My lap times were good even from free practice and I was feeling great on my bike. Unfortunately, a crash during the qualifying moto reduced the chances for a good gate pick for the final motos. Despite that, my start was good in moto one and I quickly managed to put myself in a good position. It was a tough moto and I’m happy with getting third. My start wasn’t that good in moto two and I could not manage to get the speed I hoped for. Getting 10th in moto two I finished sixth overall at the GP. My bike is working great at the moment and I’m really looking forward to the next GP in Portugal.”
Thomas Covington: “Overall, it’s been a great GP for me. Despite the warm conditions, this is something I’m used to from back in the days when I was racing in the US. The weekend started with me getting a start to finish win in qualifying. Feeling strong I was looking forward to the final motos. In the opening race I didn’t get a perfect start and was racing in 12th for a little while. I put my head down and managed to make a few passes for fourth at the chequered flag. Then in moto two my start was a lot better and I got a good race pace for third at the end. It felt good to get on the podium again. The goal is to continue pushing hard for more podium results.”
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “My riding was good throughout the weekend. In the opening moto I was feeling good and was battling for the top six before I had a small issue losing the side panel from my bike. Then in moto two I started inside the top 10 and slowly found my way up to sixth. My pace was good in the sandy track but I could not get the speed I hoped for. It’s good that I managed to retain third in the championship and not it’s full steam ahead to the following GP in Portugal.”
Conrad Mewse: “It was a really physical GP and we all suffered with the extreme heat. Coming from the UK I’m not used to racing in these conditions. I did my best throughout the weekend and I’m really happy with my starts in both motos. In moto one I was racing as high as fifth after a few laps, before dropping to 14th. It was a similar scenario in moto two. I started strong inside the top eight but run out of energy and had to settle for 20th at the line.”