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INTERVIEW // Max Anstie Talks World Supercross

MX Vice speaks to top Brit as he looks forward to the British WSX Grand Prix



Thanks to our friends at World Supercross, MX Vice was fortunate enough to have 20 minutes of chat with none other than British Supercross sensation Max Anstie of Team Firepower Honda, looking forward to his full tilt at the World Supercross crown, which begins on the 1st of July at Villa Park in Birmingham for the British Grand Prix!

Words: Ben Rumbold / Max Anstie | Images: WSX

MXV: Many thanks for talking to us, Max! I take it with your recent run of results in America that you’ve been talking to a few more people in the media, not so much flying under the radar anymore? How would you rate your AMA season so far?

MA:  It’s been brilliant, I wanted to make the move to 250 because, apart from a couple of years when I was a teenager, I never really had the chance to learn Supercross on a 250 and then graduate to a 450. You look at the top 10 or 12 riders in the 450 class and they have nearly all won championships, first, on a 250, whereas I went to Europe and raced GPs before I could do that. So even though I’m older now, I still feel like I’m 18 or 19 because I am still learning the ropes of Supercross in this environment, with a view to moving up to a 450 again with that experience under my belt.

MXV: So is this a one-year thing, like a quick reset and back up, or are you still set to ride 250 next year?  And have your results, until recently running 2nd in points to Hunter Lawrence in the East, made any changes to your plans?

MA: I have a two-year deal with my team, and this year I was treating as a learning year, not really expecting to be in this position, regularly one of the fastest qualifiers and getting on the podium several times. So the results are welcome but they don’t change anything, I will be on 250 next year as well, both for AMA and the World Supercross Championship.

Anstie will carry his favourite #99 again at Villa Park for the British Grand Prix.

MXV: It’s great to see that you are signed up to the WSX series again for 2023, and of course it’s now going to be in a massive football stadium, Villa Park in Birmingham, that the season will begin from. Football, Soccer if you like, is huge in the UK, so how big of a deal is it for you that we are finally getting a big-time dirt bike race into such an iconic stadium as this? Also, do you actually support a football team?

MA: It means so much to be in a proper football stadium. I don’t follow a team, because I soon found out as a kid at school that I was rubbish at it! Obviously through my Dad I got into Motocross, and I live in such a bubble, I train, I eat, I race, and have never popped my head up to look at other sports. Obviously, I know who Aston Villa are [The home football team at Villa Park], and I have friends who are Villa fans, so it’s fantastic to be going to places like Villa Park. You go to these places and it’s so cool to see photos of the regular stars who play and perform there, and to think that they could be adding photos of Supercross riders onto those walls is also brilliant for the sport.

MXV: Have you got much else planned while you’re back in the UK?

MA: Well my wife and I will have the baby so definitely seeing the family. But it’s also Silverstone Formula One the following weekend so we have got tickets sorted for that, I’ve never been before so it will be great to experience that. Most of the other rounds I will kind of treat as work rather than a tourist, especially where the food might be suspect.

MXV: The Arenacross series in the UK recently visited Birmingham and ran features on the local news in the week running up to the race, and the Arena was full to capacity on the night. Are you looking forward to that sort of build up and to see how many fans pack the stands?

MA: Absolutely, I did watch the Arenacross Tour on the Livestream and it was brilliant, and it’s great that it was getting some terrestrial TV time as well.  If you think that when I won the Motocross of Nations in 2017 [Max won the event individually, defeating an in-form Jeffrey Herlings], it was the biggest Motocross event on the planet, held in England, and none of the mainstream British press or TV channels ran anything on it at all Monday morning!  Here in the States, there are posters of Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, etc, in most petrol stations, they are seen as heroes, and to get some coverage like that in the UK would be amazing if it’s possible.

MXV:  Of course, last year you had just the two rounds, at Cardiff and Melbourne, and you continued to race in Australia afterwards.  This time you have six rounds, including trips to Asia and Canada.  Do you think your experience with travelling to such races as Qatar and Thailand in the past will stand you in good stead for this WSX season?

MA: Oh for sure, I know that the Asian fans are especially passionate about the sport, that level of attention is something else to deal with, but certainly there will be things, like the food and managing jetlag, that I have ways of coping with because I’ve done it before.

MXV: You can revert back to your favoured #99 for the WSX series, have you done enough in the AMA to run that full time in the US as well?

MA: I honestly don’t think so, it is very tough to earn a “career number” in the AMA, you need to be either a National Champion, or top ten in combined Supercross and Motocross before you can even take your pick. So it’s unlikely I’ll ever get #99 over here, they just get given to you each year.  It’ll be nice to run it for WSX, for sure.

MXV: We’ve spoken before about how much this series means to you, that it gives you the chance to be a World Champion, and it’s safe to say that you are really up for this one aren’t you?

MA: Well I moved to America when I was a teenager, and with all of the things that have happened, I feel like this opportunity to become the next British World Champion, alright it’s Supercross, but we haven’t had a World Champion since Jamie Dobb, and I feel like this is just made for me. Like all my training and work has come together for this chance, which I thought I might not get when I came back to the USA, to fulfil my dream of being a World Champion. It is on the agenda, it is really want I want to achieve and with my results this year I think I have a good chance to make it happen.

MXV: Fantastic, we’ll certainly be rooting for you over here. Thanks for talking to us and see you in Birmingham!

MA: See you there!


Interview: Ky Woods

Great chat with the Aussie rising star.



Young Aussie sensation Ky Woods spoke to MX Vice Editor Ed Stratmann about his impressive efforts at the recent FIM 2023 Junior Motocross World Championship despite the results not matching his speed, what he learned from the experience, his aims for the future, the high level of the Pro MX MX3 class in Australia and much more.

MX Vice: Talk us through your weekend, your speed and riding was excellent even though the results weren’t due to issues in each race?

Ky Woods: My weekend at the World Championships was amazing. The whole vibe was sick and just loved the experience with all the boys, we just had such a great time. My weekend started off amazing, I went P2 in free practice. My speed was great in the morning. The track was pretty flat and a little bit muddy. So yeah, I had a ball, and getting that P2 in practice, I was really surprised. It’s so sick watching these boys on TV and just to see that I’m up there with them was just incredible. So P2 in free practice and then went out in qualifying a few hours later and went P5 in my group. I think, all in all, I had P9 gate pick for the first moto.

Then race one started on the Sunday so we did practice and qualifying on Saturday and then I started race one on Sunday morning. The nerves were definitely coming into play, but I was pretty confident with myself and my speed. And knew what I had to do for that race.

Race one I actually got a terrible jump off the gate, but I think my gate was a big advantage as well because I was really tight into the corner. So, I managed to tuck in tight under all the boys and come out like P5. I moved my way into P3 pretty quickly and Jake (Cannon) was in front of me in P2 and I was feeling pretty confident. Then three quarters through the first lap, my fuel cap came off and fuel was pouring all over me, and my bike was just stuttering really bad so I had to pull off. The reason why this happened was just a little mistake by my dad, as after the sight lap I had to put fuel in a bottle and fuel my bike up back to the top after my sight lap because my bike wouldn’t have made 25 plus two. So yeah, dad forgot to put the fuel cap back on fully and it came off three quarters into the first lap. So yeah, I’m super bummed about that.

But, yeah, I was definitely feeling a bit more refreshed than the other boys going into the second moto. For the second moto, I was still P9 gate pick and I went into the race feeling angry. I wanted to prove my point and get my name out there a little bit because I knew race one just wasn’t good enough. So, I got a really bad jump again, but I managed to do the same thing as in race one and tuck under everyone and come out P8, I think. And Janis and Mathis, the two fastest boys in the class, were one and two off the start. They tried to put a gap on everyone and I saw them running away slowly so I tried to get into P3 as fast as I could. And I did that exactly. I was trying to latch onto the back of Mathis, and I was catching him a little bit, but just wasn’t good enough in the end.

25 minutes plus two in 38 degrees heat and I was wearing this massive, massive turtle suit looking thing – I looked like a hockey player out there. In this massive suit with shoulder pads, elbow pads and everything, it just made the heat 10 times worse. There was like two laps to go and I was running third the whole time and I had Jake and a lot of the factory boys come, and yeah, I collapsed on the last lap.

I collapsed on the last lap and I tried to get back up and could barely see and hear, and I just felt like my health was really bad. I’d never been so cooked before in my life. The heat really got to me and I just couldn’t finish the race. There was one lap to go and I was really bummed, but I knew I put everything into that race and I feel like I did myself proud, but obviously the results didn’t show. But man, my speed was good and I was just so happy with how I rode. I didn’t know what to expect coming into the weekend, but I felt like it was just as good as the win for me because, yeah, just been having a tough year and I really got to show everyone and a lot of the teams how good my speed is – and that was really good.

MXV: Must have been a great confidence boost mixing it in the top three and proving you can match it with those fast EMX riders?

KW: I learned a lot over there, I just noticed how they handled the situation. In the race, the two boys (Reisulis and Valin), once they got the holeshot for just the first 10 minutes they just dipped – like they just tried to push as hard as they could to get away from the rest of the pack. And they did just that – they got out to a pretty decent lead. They were probably about five or 10 seconds in front of me in the first 10 minutes. So yeah, they were crazy quick them boys, their first 10 minutes was just raw speed and then they managed the race from there, and kept the gap so if anyone got close to them at the end they sprinted a little bit more. But yeah, I learned a lot from them so that’s a good thing.

MXV: How happy are you to be heading home and what were the key things you learned from the weekend?

KW: Yeah, I’m a little bit happy to be going home. I wish I could have stayed for a little longer. But I had to come back for the Australian titles. But there in Europe it’s just a lot better. The bike was just incredibly fast and just the events are a lot bigger over there. Everyone’s screaming and there’s music pumping so loud and just the whole vibe is 10 times better there. I just loved going there. I want to go back there soon and hopefully ride a 125 or a 250, but yeah, I just loved it there.

MXV: How strong is the Aussie MX3 class – it’s obviously a high level that allowed Jake Cannon and you to mix it on the world stage?

KW: Yeah the MX3 riders in Australia, we’ve got a pretty good chance (when we go to Europe). We have a lot of potential riders that could go over and be the next best thing. But yeah, I feel like it’s a completely different thing over there with the pressure and how big it is to see if we can handle it or not. And yeah, well, I went over to just do one job. I didn’t focus on anything else but to race so it’s just such a massive event. I feel like a lot of the MX3 boys definitely have a lot of potential.

MXV: What are your plans for the rest of 2023?

KW: My plans for the rest of the year is I think I’m just going to do the last Pro MX rounds in the MX3 category at QMP and Coolum. I really like QMP, I’ve been out there once and seemed to gel with the track pretty well. I’ve had a pretty rough mid-part of my year, but I feel like I’ve been turning it up a little bit lately. So, I feel like we can go into QMP feeling good and I think I’m ready to go. I need to get back on my 250 in Queensland and we start training on that again because I’ve just been training on the 125 a lot lately. Going to get back on the 250, do a lot of motos and just start grinding on that thing.

I might do a little bit of supercross – first time doing it so we’ll see how we go. Yeah, I don’t know about supercross really, but yeah, I’m excited. I’m definitely excited to start training for supercross.

MXV: Anyone you’d like to thank in particular?

KW: I would just like to thank my dad, my mum and my sister, and all the people that donated to me and my GoFundMe I made before I went to Romania. I think we managed to raise about 16 grand and that definitely helped me a lot. I feel like I definitely didn’t get the results in Romania, but I showed a lot of people that I’ve definitely got the speed, especially for the future if I want to go back there that I have the speed and I showed everyone what I’ve got. So, I’d just like to thank all the people that got me to Romania, It just means the world to me. And thank you to all my sponsors in GasGas Australia, Troy Lee Designs, Motorex, Dunlop, ODI, Rival Ink, Funnel Web Filter, Sutto’s Powersports, Josh Robinson, MPE and 00 Elite Training. I just can’t thank everyone enough, it just means the world to me.

MXV :Thanks for taking the time to talk and all the best for the future.

Lead Image: Ky Woods

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Interview: Alberto Forato

Charismatic Italian shares his thoughts.



Currently sitting eighth in the MXGP standings and enjoying a brilliant season aboard his SM Action KTM, Alberto Forato’s impressively continued along his steady upward trajectory.

Having claimed 11th in the championship last term despite suffering a broken leg at the midway point, the charismatic Italian has been nothing short of impressive with his speed, fitness and consistency particularly catching the eye in his quest to reach the podium.

Regularly beating and holding his own with the factory riders, which has included some especially engaging duels with Jeffrey Herlings, it’s been so fun to watch the burly Forato in 2023.

A brilliant figure to have in the paddock, with his fantastic sense of humour and likeable personality accompanying his crafty riding nicely, the fact he’s picked up 13 top eight moto finishes (with a best of fifth), eight top 10 overalls, five top six results in the qualifying races (including a third in France) and banked three top threes in timed practice underlines his quality.

MX Vice Editor Ed Stratmann caught up with the hard working #303, who receives some support from KTM in the form of parts such as suspension, to get his thoughts on a forgettable round in Lombok, where sickness ruined his weekend even though he valiantly rode through the illness to claim eighth overall.

Question: Talk us through your weekend, it looked like a tough one as you were sick? How difficult was it with the heat and struggling for energy?

Alberto Forato: For sure, it was really, really, really tough. It was not normal, as I struggled a lot being sick. And then I had really no energy especially with the conditions being really hot and the sickness. When I closed my eyes, my head was spinning and I was almost like losing my balance and stuff so it was really, really tough. But luckily, I got through it and came home safe.

Q: When did you get sick ahead of the race in Lombok and are you feeling better now?

AF: I got sick in between the races, especially on the Friday before Lombok. And like I was just saying before ‘all good this time overseas, I’m good. I feel good and I have no sickness from food and stuff’. And then in the night at 3am, I woke up and started being sick. Now I’m getting better. I’m still not fully good, but we’re getting better.

Q: What did you think of the track at Lombok?

AF: I actually did not like the track. I mean the layout was nice, it was good with some jumps and some technical stuff, but the dirt man was insane. I don’t know why or how with fresh dirt, they could make such a rock hard and sketchy track like that. It was crazy, so sketchy and hot – was not the kind of dirt that I like.

Q: How was the tourist stuff while you were in Indonesia and how were the fans there?

AF: It was good also the tourist stuff, but we didn’t have so much time as we’re there to race. I mean we went to visit some places – I went to see some waterfalls and then to the zoo. And yeah, it was good, but you know we’re here to race so I always focus on that to be on top. The fans were crazy, the people were sending so much love and cheering for us. For sure, for them it is a really big event.

Q: How happy are you to be heading home?

AF: This is a really good question. I’m really, really so happy to be back home. Two weeks there was a lot.

Q: What are your plans to prepare for Loket – recover, some riding and relax?

AF: Yeah I will recover. I will go riding today (Friday) and riding up until the race? And yeah, for sure recover as much as possible and get back in shape to go for it in Loket.

Lead Image: Ray Archer

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Fox Feature

Interview: Lucas Coenen

Young star speaks after a tough weekend in Lombok dealing with illness.



Although 16-year-old MX2 star Lucas Coenen couldn’t replicate his remarkable showing at Sumbawa, where he claimed his first overall victory in fine style due to getting sick in the lead-up to Lombok, he battled on valiantly in the testing conditions to go 7-5 for seventh overall.

The Nestaan Husqvarna sensation spoke with MX Vice Editor Ed Stratmann afterwards to share his thoughts on a tough weekend.

Question: Talk us through your weekend, it looked like a tough one as you were sick? How hard was it with the heat and probably having no energy?

Lucas Coenen: Yeah, for sure, Lombok was a really difficult weekend, I got sick around Thursday and this didn’t help me for the weekend at all. So Saturday was really difficult with the qualifying race and the temperature also because I didn’t do so many laps, as after 10 minutes all my energy was gone – so I was in survival mode. And Sunday, in the first moto I tried to hang in there with all I had, but the energy was lost after 15 minutes so I finished in P7.

Then in the second moto, I got off to a not so bad start and tried to hang on and had some good battles. But yeah, it was also difficult with the heat in the second, but got to battle with those guys and finished P5. This was not so bad, but I didn’t feel good at all so now Loket is next. 

Q: When did you get sick ahead of the race in Lombok and are you feeling better now?

LC: Yeah, I got sick overnight between Wednesday and Thursday. And now I’m still not 100% yet, but I will get 100% for sure for Loket.

Q: What did you think of the track at Lombok?

LC: I struggled a lot with the track also because I was sick. But it was not an easy track for sure, it is a track a bit like Argentina. It had really soft parts and there were no lines so it’s difficult to keep a good flow. I think I need to improve a bit on these tracks.

Q: How was the tourist stuff while you were in Indonesia and how were the fans there?

LC: Yeah, it was okay, but I could say it was a long one. The first week was okay and then the second week was really long because, yeah, I missed being home with the dog and everything. Yes, Sumbawa was not so bad, then Lombok began to be quite long and for sure when you get sick, it gets long as hell. And yeah, the fans were quite happy that we made a race there so it was nice to go there. But two weeks was a bit long, but that’s the plan. So yeah, the fans were very good and now we’re back home.

Q: How happy are you to be heading home?

LC: Yeah, it’s really good to be back home. It was not so good food and you no needed to watch out for so many things like the water, the showering and everything. I’m happy to be back home.

Q: What are your plans to prepare for Loket – recover, some riding and relax?

LC: Yeah, the plans are to do some training like always, and training physically and everything to get back in shape as best as possible to be ready for Loket.

Lead Image: Ray Archer

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