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Anstie denied first GP win by cruel luck

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie should have been celebrating his first Grand Prix success at the end of the evening at Losail in Qatar for the very first round of the MX2 FIM Motocross World Championship. The Brit was leading both 30 minute and 2 lap motos until a mechanical problem and a stall prevented a superb finale to a maiden outing in Blue.

Anstie was irrepressible on the YZ250F and made good on various claims that he was fitter than ever and in confident form after a positive winter of preparation. He passed Jose Butron and Dylan Ferrandis to lead the first race until the closing stages and was also deep into the second affair until bad luck struck again and he dropped down the order to seventeenth. From disappointment comes encouragement and Anstie already sent a warning shot to the rest of the MX2 field that Yamaha is again ready to front the pack.

In the event standings Christophe Charlier claimed tenth place overall. The Corsican was also at the wrong scale of fortune and was undone by some mediocre starts and barging on the opening laps of the motos. He rode to 12th in the first race after recovering from an early crash and did well in the second for 9th despite a stone breaking his goggles and causing a bloody (and painful) nose.

Petar Petrov was on the pace and the Bulgarian set impressive lap-times in the opening dash despite being forced to the ground by another rider who had fallen in front of him. The Bulgarian had to restart from last place and buried his YZ250F back to 16th. Moto2 saw Petar fighting to pass Glenn Coldenhoff but the rippling bumps and squared-edge holes of the hard-pack limited his overtaking possibilities. He was 11th for 13th overall.

Australian Champion Luke Styke was unable to compete due to the debilitating effects of a viral infection. Si Racha will host the Grand Prix of Thailand next weekend for the second year in a row.

Christophe Charlier: “A hard night. It was so hard to pass on that track and I didn’t give myself much chance with the starts today. Also luck was not with me. In the second moto a rock smashed me in the face and I started bleeding. It took me a while to recover from that. Anyway, the series is very long and for sure we will have many better days.”

Luke Styke: “I’ve been struggling with a viral infection so I knew I was up against it. I did what I could but after ten minutes I was so weak and couldn’t see properly. It wasn’t safe to continue. I’ve seen the doctor and it is one of those things that will take a bit of time to recover from.”

Petar Petrov: “I’m not happy with the result but I managed to show the speed is there. I rode the fourth best lap-time in the first race, so that’s good. In the second race passing was so hard. It took me so long to get by Coldenhoff but by then the race was over. This really shows how the start is important. I hope next week in Thailand the track will be rougher, which will suit me better then these all-out fast races.”

MX Vice Editor || 25

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