It is finally official! Max Anstie has signed a deal with the H.E.P Motorsports squad in the United States to contest the 450SX class in 2020 Monster Energy Supercross and the 450MX class in 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. This has been a big question mark for months now, as he has been linked to teams on both sides of the Atlantic and even tested multiple machines. Anstie is now locked in with H.E.P though. The deal was announced via the following press release.
Madera, CA – H.E.P. Motorsports and Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) are proud to announce their continued partnership for the 2020 racing season. Building on continuity and increased support from SMAI, H.E.P. Motorsports will look to excel to new heights by contending for career high finishes on the race track and continuing to lead the pack in fan engagement off the race track. "The H.E.P Team has done a great job representing the RM Army both on and off the track," added Chris Wheeler, Suzuki's SX/MX Manager. "Each year they've worked very hard progressing forward and I'm looking forward to seeing them take that next step up during the 2020 season!"
In addition to competing in the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, the team will also contest in the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. "Taking on a new championship series seemed like quite the challenge at first, but when I took a step back and looked at the athletes, partners and staff assembled I knew it was time for the team to take the next step," explained team manager Dustin Pipes. "Going into our third professional season, I feel this move shows the motorcycle community and all racing fans that the team is committed to the sport long-term by exhibiting continued progression."
Parallel to the planned expansion, H.E.P. Motorsports is also proud to announce the addition of former World MXGP race winner and 2017 Motocross of Nations overall winner Max Anstie. The likeable Englishman will look to make waves in both the supercross and motocross series. Already gelling with his 2020 Suzuki RMZ-450, the sky is the limit when the talented Brit hits the track. With limited supercross experience, Max has already shown an aptitude for the tighter circuits.
"Although my focus until recently has been on the MXGP championship, I have always kept an eye on one day competing in the American championships. Having spent some of my teenage years in the ‘States and placing as high as fourth in my single full 250SX West season I know I am up for the challenge ahead. There are a lot of talented racers here, but I believe in myself and my team," added Max. "Supercross is going to be a learning experience and I plan to build throughout the season. Motocross on the other hand is quite natural to me. I will be up to speed quickly when the series starts outdoors."
Flanking Max will be the hardworking veteran Kyle Cunningham. An original member of the inaugural H.E.P. Motorsports team, the Weatherford, Texas native looks forward to stepping back into the premier 450 class. "In a sense I feel like I am coming back to family. Although it wasn't always easy, the team and I worked together during their first season where we were both constantly searching for ways to be better. After spending some time away and then re-signing with the team this winter, it was exciting the first time I jumped back on the bike and noticed the progress they made. I am a racer at heart and to have a team around me as invested in racing as myself is refreshing. I expect to catch a lot of people off guard and remind people how fast I can go," exclaimed a confident Cunningham.
Rounding out the trio of athletes is fan favourite Adam Enticknap or better known as the ‘Seven Deuce Deuce'. Full of moxie and a likeable attitude, Adam will come back for his second consecutive year with the team. Many times sporting the most boisterous autograph lines, the Lompoc, California local is easily the most approachable athlete in the paddock. Rounding out a healthy off-season, Adam will look to set new career highs. "I have been working really hard during the off-season. Helping develop the team's new suspension and motor packages have meant me spinning a lot of laps. I have definitely found another level this off-season and I can't wait until I can show the fans at the first round all the gains I've made," explained Enticknap.
Continuing as the team's crew chief will be racing industry legend Clark Jones. With countless credentials earned throughout his many years around motorcycles, the former professional racer, team owner, and current owner of Noleen J6 is confident in the team's ability to exceed expectations in 2020. "With Anaheim just over a month away, testing has been going great! Rider feedback has allowed us to improve not only the suspension package, but the motor as well. The riders are feeling comfortable and confident on their machines and are ready to attack the season ahead," mentioned Jones.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: HEP Motorsports