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Anstie’s stunning 450 race debut

Briton Max Anstie had a stunning 450 race debut for the factory Husqvarna team in the Italian International series in Sardina on Sunday, battling with riders like Romain Febvre and beating both his team-mates Max Nagl and Gautier Paulin. The Brit took seventh in the MX1 class race, then in the combined MX1 and MX2 Elite Superfinal was seventh again. Husky’s official press release says:


Kicking off their 2017 international MX season, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team riders Max Anstie, Max Nagl and Gautier Paulin were among a strong line-up of elite MXGP class competitors who contested the opening round of the Internazionali d’ Italia Motocross series in Riola Sardo. Making a last-minute decision to compete in Sardinia, the event formed an important part of the team’s preparations ahead of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship that kicks off on February 25, in Qatar.

Anstie had two sevenths
Anstie had two sevenths

Spending the last month testing and training in Spain and the south of France, the three-rider Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP squad officially started their 2017 racing season in the deep sand of the Riola Sardo track in Sardinia, Italy. Putting in a strong performance aboard his new FC 450 machine, Britain’s Max Anstie wrapped up the race with two seventh place results in the MX1 and Elite class finals respectively.

Working towards returning to the speed that made him a top contender during last year’s MXGP series, Max Nagl collected a ninth and an 18th place results during the two final motos in the deep sand of Sardinia.

The opening round of the Internazionali d’ Italia Motocross series marked Gautier Paulin’s first competitive outing in Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team colours. The Frenchman raced cautiously to wrap up round one of the series with 17/18 results.

Max Nagl didn't have the greatest day
Max Nagl didn’t have the greatest day

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP riders return to action on February 5 for the Hawkstone International MX in Great Britain, where they will be joined by their Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 team riders Thomas Covington, Conrad Mewse and Thomas-Kjer Olsen.

Antti Pyrhönen – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team manager: “Like always it’s great to get back racing after the off-season. And it’s great that all our riders finished the event without problems or injury. We hadn’t originally planned on competing in this race, so we didn’t set our expectations too high. Training and testing is very different to racing, so getting some real race experience in before the first GP is always our goal. For our guys the race provided some very challenging conditions – the soft sand was very different to the training they’ve been doing in Spain and the south of France. But we knew how it would be, but also that there’s no better training than racing. We’re back racing again now, which is great. We’re looking forward to racing at Hawkstone Park next weekend as we build our preparations ahead of the first GP.”

Paulin was well off the pace
Paulin was well off the pace

Results – Internazionali d’Italia Motocross 2017, Round 1
MX1
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 16 laps, 29:52.340; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha), 30:11.272; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 30:14.243… 6. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 30:28.479; 7. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 30:46.977… 9. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 30:55.959… 14. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 31:45.733… 18. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 15 laps, 29:55.229… 20. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 30:25.052
Elite
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 16 laps, 30:42.762; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha) 30:58.347; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 31:00.610… 7. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 31:35.428… 11. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 31:58.231… 13. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 32:22.774… 17. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 32:33.588; 18. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 32:35.473… 25. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 31:19.609

Championship Standings (After Rnd1)
MX1
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 120pts; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha) 100; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 80… 6. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 55; 7. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 50… 9. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 40… 14. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 28… 18. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 23… 20. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 21
Elite
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 120pts; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha) 100; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 80… 7. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 50… 11. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 34… 13. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 30… 17. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 24; 18. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 23… 25. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 16

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