Max Anstie on his first-ever World Title in the World Supercross Championship

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The Englishman was unstoppable in Melbourne. In just 24hrs he took the AUSX title and then the SX2 World Title by sweeping each race. The FirePower Honda became the first world champ since James Dobb in 2001 (125cc MX).

Anstie spoke with the media during the post-press conference in Melbourne.

Congratulations, Max. In a pre-event interview, you got to see the gold medal. Now you have it. What does that mean?

Oh, I’ve been dreaming a long time to have one of these. I know we were only on 85’s but the first time I raced Ken [Roczen] was in 2007 in Bulgaria. I was second there. And then I’ve spent years and years and years in the GP’s and I was third and then last year being second in the championship, man, it’s one of those where I’ve wanted one of these gold medals for a long time. So, it was very cool. Then yeah, showing me the medal before I’d actually got the job done the other day, [Laughs], I went back and called my wife and I’m like, man, if I was superstitious, I feel like that might have not been the best thing! But it’s one of those where I executed. I was actually more nervous yesterday for the Oz races. I knew tonight meant a lot to me, so I didn’t want to mess it up yesterday. Today I just kind of felt like my day was clockwork. I just executed. The only thing I kind of fluffed up was the start in the first main, my start device came out as I went over the gate. But apart from that my starts were on point. The team done a great job. Talking about Kenny’s issues with the clutch, Marty [Davalos, Team Manager] said on Tuesday, we were riding at a track close to here at Dean’s [Wilson] friend’s house and he goes, “I’ve got a new clutch for you to try.” I was like, “Oh, I don’t really want to try anything, my bike’s good.” We put it in, and I was like, “All right, yeah, this is good.” And we managed to run with it and man, my starts were dialed tonight and, and with these short races it’s so intense. As far as I’m concerned, we had three rounds. Each main event counted for points. So that’s, that’s nothing for me. That’s like racing East Coast Supercross in the U.S. I knew I had to execute each main and I’m pleased with tonight. I was able able to put a stamp on it and come away with a win and this gold medal.

I’m glad you’ve used that word execute. It’s been a common theme in some of your answers this weekend. And if you look at it holistically what you did here last night, tonight and then even finishing the final race with the win and the fastest lap, just take us through that.

Exactly. I said to my wife the other day, she, she didn’t know the difference between a whip and a scrub. And I said, “All right, if I win, I’m gonna do a whip.” So, she knew what that was. I was trying to put some style on it. But yeah, it’s been amazing. Two or three years ago, not even that long, it was 2022, halfway through the year I didn’t have a ride, I didn’t know what was going on. My career has been opened up again. I’m 30 years old but I feel like I’m 17 again in supercross. I love supercross. My brain is constantly thinking about, you know, how to go faster and how to go better in the whoops. I wanna keep this momentum going into next year’s supercross in the U.S. and then before you know it again, we’ll be back for worlds.

Can we get a sense of what this means for motocross and supercross in the UK and so on?

Well, I really, really wanted to make a statement with this. You know, my old agent, Jamie Dobb, I’ve said it before. He was the last British World Champion in 2001. And he likes to tell me that! That was outdoors, but I don’t care, this is an FIM World Championship, whether it’s supercross or MXGP, it’s still gold and I’m a British World Champion. Coming from the UK, supercross feels so far away. And, you know, I went, one-one at the Motocross of Nations in 2017 and, not that no one cared, but it was just like it just got brushed over. You go to the Motocross of Nations the year after, in Assen and the King of Holland is there! In England, motocross is not a big sport. It’s literally viewed as hooligans or whatever. You know, it’s not viewed as being professional or whatever. I want to try to change that, and I want the kids to think maybe one day we can be racing this FIM World Supercross Championship and get to this level. So, I don’t know. I know I’ve got to go back to England next weekend for the FIM Awards. It’s quite fitting. So hopefully, the media crew here can get me on some TV over there and I can actually push it a little bit. So that’ll be handy!

Going into that second main? What was the emotion like. You heard you had already wrapped up the title.

Yeah, it was weird cos after the first main, my team guys said, “You’ve won it, you’ve won it!” And I was like, “Huh? what happened to Shane? Because I saw Blose was off the track and then like, “No, Shane DNFed.” And I couldn’t figure out if where [Maxime] Desprey was, I had no idea. And I said to my mechanic, “Right? Let’s focus on one thing at a time. Let’s go and execute this next one.” And then after the second one, of course, yeah, it was fantastic. But Australia supercross taught me a lot because last year the final round was in Wagga, Wagga, right? And, and, and we had a two-moto format, and I won the championship in the first main, the second main it was getting dark and dusty. And honestly, I didn’t even wanna ride, like I was riding around in fourth and I was like, “Oh, like I rode terrible.” So mentally this year, I said to myself, “Right, no matter what happens.” I said to my mechanic, “No matter what happens in between the motos, we stick to the plan because I want that bonus money of the night as well.” The standard story goes, I wanna tip your reeve up and, and empty them out. The championship bonus is all right. But I wanted the night bonus too. I got some toys to buy for my little guy. So, gotta make this month trip away from my family worth it. You know, Millie’s back there and she’s like, “Man, we’ve been through all the hard times” and she couldn’t come out here and obviously we’ve got an 18-month-old baby. So, the one thing that makes it a little bit easier is I keep winning the races I’m doing. So that’s handy.

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