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WELCOME It has been a turbulent month for our sport, unfortunately. Although there has been a lot of great racing, as always, there have also been a lot of injuries. Sure, we all know that we take a risk whenever we hop on our bike (no matter how quick we are). However, the adrenaline that comes from riding is irresistible. In the past month there has been an abundance of injuries around the world, unfortunately. But when incidents like this take place, it really shows how strong the motocross community is – everyone pulls together. At the beginning of the month, Mitch Chalmers had an incident that has left him with spinal injuries. But everyone is getting behind him, and hoping that he will walk again, one day. There are a lot of different ways that you can do your bit too; there are various fundraising activities, so get involved! Sadly, one week later sixteen-year old Brad Hooper passed away following a crash at a club meeting. This was obviously a huge blow for our sport, whether you knew Brad or not – we are all a big family. RIP Brad; our thoughts go out to your family and friends at this very sad time. Of course, on one day in April a few factory riders from the MXGP series fell, and sustained injuries that will probably rule them out for the rest of the year. This was a big blow for the series, and the sport; we need everyone healthy! However, even without those guys, there has been some great action! It’s just a shame that there has been a lack of live coverage on British TV recently. However, the British GP is just days away (at the time of writing), so we will have a chance to see the riders in person. If you cannot make it, don’t worry - we will have extensive coverage all weekend, so it will feel like you’re there! It has been another great month for us, in fact, we broke all of our personal records in April; we would not be able to do it without all of you! This magazine is growing in popularity too, which is very exciting. We are sure that you will enjoy the third issue, as we have again tried to cover many different championships, and riders! So on that note, I’ll leave you to explore the rest of this magazine. Enjoy!
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FEATURES AFTERMATH 32-41 MAKING CHANGES 46-53 MAX ANSTIE INTERVIEW 58-65 TRAINING WITH JAKE NICHOLLS 70-75 BRITISH GP PREVIEW 85-87
Lewis Phillips James Burfield Elliot Spencer Jonathan McCready James Lissimore James Dunford
Adam Sterry Ray Archer KTM Images Simon Cudby Suzuki Racing Yamaha Racing
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Lewis Trickett was having an amazing season aboard the MBO Sport Yamaha. But, unfortunately, he sustained a dislocated hip at Canada Heights, which will keep him out of action for quite a while.
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After an inconsistent start to the 2014 season, Brad Anderson has returned to form, in recent weeks. Brad took a win at Whitby, and then challenged for a spot on the podium at Canada Heights, despite the fact that he had a bad back
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RV was thinking about the championship – he just wanted to do his job.
this, some still argue that Ryan was not the fastest rider this year, because he lost whenever he was battling with James Stewart. However, when he was in these on-track battles, he didn’t have to beat Stewart. Sure, it would have been nice, but RV was thinking about the championship – he just wanted to do his job. This is something that he has come under criticism for quite a lot, because most believe that the life of a professional motocross rider is perfect. But, there are a lot of commitments that Ryan Villopoto must adhere to, which makes it a lot more of a grind for him. Villopoto did an interview with Jeremy McGrath in Seattle, earlier this year (round fifteen), and he was really lost for words when asked if he was having fun. This certainly separates him from the rest of the class, as most seem to enjoy every second.
RYAN VILLOPOTO TAKES ANOTHER ONE Prior to the start of the 2014 season, everyone was claiming that this was the deepest 450SX field that we have ever seen. But, despite this, Ryan Villopoto was still an unstoppable force, as he locked up his fourth consecutive title. Interestingly, the way that he won his title was a little different to the previous three years, but he still got the job done one round early.
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Ryan Villopoto seemingly matured this season, as achieving consistency was his main goal. It has been the key to winning a title for many guys, and it helped Villopoto this year. Although RV didn’t win as many main events as he has done in recent years, he was more dominant in the series standings, because he did not have any big points swings. In fact, he only dropped out of the top five once, and that was when he finished sixth in Toronto, which, as we know, was in extreme circumstances. Of course, Villopoto still won more main events than anyone else in the 450SX class; he was victorious seven times. But, despite
But, whether Ryan Villopoto is having fun or not, what he is doing is working, evidently. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is now part of an elite group - he has joined McGrath as one of the only guys that has won four consecutive premier class titles. You could argue that RV has achieved this feat in a more competitive era, too. However, despite this, some still overlook just how great Ryan Villopoto has become. It does seem that most fans aren’t going to appreciate just how good he is, until he has moved onto pastures new, which may be a lot sooner than you would think.
JASON ANDERSON STEPS UP In the off-season, very few people picked Jason Anderson as a favourite for the 250SX West title, and understandably so. After all, he had just one main event victory to his name, prior to the start of the 2014 season. However, Jason seemingly made some big gains during the winter, as he came out swinging at round one, and looked like a new guy! You have to think that his switch to KTM has had a lot to do with his success, as he grew up with the brand. So, the switch was easy, and something that he was happy with, clearly. He has grown up a lot in the last year, also, it seems, as his race craft has really improved â€“ the amount of last lap passes that he made this year is a testament to that. Interestingly, those two wins at rounds one and two (where he passed Cole Seely on the final lap) actually won him the championship. If he had not made those moves, he would have lost the title. Like Justin Bogle, Jason had his own injury problems to contend with on his path to the title, as he suffered a punctured lung just a few days before the last round. But, he dug deep, and did exactly what he needed to do - he managed the situation like a true champ. Although he was dealing with health issues, he still went out and gave it his all, which is commendable.
Jason seemingly made some big gains during the winter
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JAMES STEWART RETURNS TO FORM Like Chad Reed, James Stewart had a lacklustre 2013 season (by his standards). Although he was still in the top five each week, he was rarely a factor in the battle for the lead, which led most to question whether he still had the fire and determination required, to contend for a title. Now, it has become apparent that James had a part on his Suzuki that he really disliked in 2013, hence why he found it so hard to force the issue.
called into question. But he still has not shown that he can be consistent for a full season, which causes most fans to doubt whether he could challenge Villopoto for the title in 2015. It is likely that he will hang up the boots at the end of next year, as well, so time is running out for Stewart to capture a third championship.
However, James was seemingly happy with his setup this year, as he was ready to challenge for a title when the gate dropped at Anaheim 1. But James was still very inconsistent, which ultimately cost him a shot at the 450SX championship this year. James was undoubtedly the fastest rider on-track at the season opener, for example, but he struggled to keep his Suzuki on two wheels, which left him buried in seventeenth at the end of the night. Although there were still sixteen rounds remaining, he was already at a disadvantage. Strangely, James did not show the same kind of speed again in the weeks following Anaheim 1. But he was back to best when San Diego rolled around, as he made a quick pass on [Ryan] Villopoto on lap one, and ran away with the victory. Another win one week later in Arlington propelled him back into title contention. But, a string of bad luck followed, which cost James a large chunk of points. Although he took three more victories later in the year (including his very strong ride in Toronto), it would have taken a miracle for him to overcome the deficit in the standings. Even more inconsistency followed for James Stewart; he failed to finish either one of the last two main events, because of health and mechanical issues. Fortunately, neither problem will continue to hinder him. It was certainly a season that was filled with highs and lows â€“ he fell to fourth in the standings by the time the final round had concluded. Of course, he captured his fiftieth main event victory in St. Louis, which was a popular point of discussion, as he took sole possession of second on the all-time wins list, also. It certainly is not surprising that he did this, as his speed and ability cannot be
more inconsistency followed for James Stewart; he failed to finish either one of the last two main events
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the summer will be quite difficult for him, I believe
KEN ROCZEN FIRES OUT OF THE GATE When a rider first moves up to the premier 450SX class, they are allowed some time to adjust. But there is always a rider that bursts out of the gate and is an immediate contender, like Ken Roczen was this year. Although most people expected him to be a factor in the fight for the lead a couple of times, very few fans thought that he would clinch the win at the first round. Ken seemingly had the potential to succeed on the big bike. After all, he had already finished on the box in a one-off ride on a 350 in 2012. So, it was obvious that he was going to be fast; he is Ken Roczen! In order to ensure that he was prepared for the challenge this year, he did make a few changes to his programme; most notably,
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Ken started training with Aldon Baker, which has paid dividends, thus far. At the start of the season, he was actually
Did he exceed expectations? Definitely Ryan Villopotoâ€™s main challenger; they traded the red plate a couple of times. Although Ken visibly started struggling after Daytona, it was not too bad; he was still finishing in the top five consistently, which is
where most expected him to be at the start of the season! It is rare for a rookie to be so consistent, hence why Roczen is pegged to achieve a lot of success in the near future. Overall, Roczen finished on the podium eight times this year, and took two victories. Did he exceed expectations? Definitely. However, he still has the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series to go, and the summer will be quite difficult for him, I believe - he was already looking tired at the final Monster Energy Supercross rounds. The schedule for the 450 riders is gruelling; so most rookies struggle in their rookie season. But, the start of a new season may rejuvenate him, and he may continue to impress.
Amazingly, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki hasn’t won a 250SX title since 2011
MONSTER ENERGY PRO CIRCUIT KAWASAKI FALTERS Amazingly, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki hasn’t won a 250SX title since 2011 - it has certainly been a long drought for the squad that has collected countless number one plates over the years. Early on in the year, it became apparent that the team was not going to win the 250SX West title, as their three riders on that coast (Dean Wilson, Justin Hill and Darryn Durham) gave up a lot of points at the first couple of rounds.
After that, all of the focus and attention was placed on their 250SX East guys (Blake Baggett, Adam Cianciarulo and Martin Davalos). Undoubtedly, these three were the class of the field, as they swept the podium in both Arlington and Daytona. At that point, no one was going to bet against one of the Monster Energy Pro Circuit riders winning that title – no one else was really a factor. But, as the season progressed, injuries forced all three riders out of action. It really was a cruel twist of fate for the most successful team in the sport, as they had to sit back and watch their commanding lead slip away. But Mitch Payton can hang his hat on the fact that his squad took ten main event wins, throughout the year, including the prestigious East/West shootout. Of course, they’re going to hit the reset button when
the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series kicks off at Glen Helen at the end of May. However, unfortunately, Martin Davalos and Adam Cianciarulo will not be joining them, as they are still recovering.
It really was a cruel twist of fate for the most successful team in the sport,
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THE EMERGENCE OF THE ROOKIES Adam Cianciarulo and Cooper Webb (two of the greatest amateur prospects) finally tackled the gruelling Monster Energy Supercross series this year, for the first time. Each year, there are a lot of rookies that burst onto the scene, but these two were different, as most people expected them to win races immediately. Of course, this worked out well for Adam - he did that multiple times.
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Although the 250SX East class was not as deep as the other coast, Cianciarulo still beat some established names at the first five rounds, before he sustained a shoulder injury in Toronto. I am certain that he exceeded expectations, by clinching three main event victories. AC was in a great position to win the title too, before he succumbed to injury. But, injuries are a part of the sport, and he will have to rebound from that next year. His counterpart, Cooper Webb, enjoyed some success in the 250SX West class, but he failed to win a main event. I believe the Yamaha rider was taking part on the tougher coast, which made it harder for him to achieve the same
finishes as Cianciarulo. H podium on a few occasio needed to succeed at the consistent, also, as he w the final chequered flag
Matt Bisceglia and Shan this year, but they struggl leaders. Bisceglia seemin a spot on the podium, bu couple of rounds - he go Matt started to shine tow as he ended up on the p
MADNESS AT THE METLIFE STADIUM FELD Motorsports were constantly pushing the East Rutherford round of the Monster Energy Supercross series all year – it was clearly a big deal for them to have a race in the New York area, as you would expect. This allowed the promoters to expose the sport to a new market, which is quite rare. FELD made full use of the opportunity, as multiple press events took place around the city with the greatest riders that the series has to offer. At the event, there was an unprecedented amount of activation around the pits, which they utilised, in an attempt to draw as many fans as they possibly could. With many action sports shows throughout the day, a lot of people gravitated around the pits, which allowed a lot of the teams to showcase their sponsors and riders. Although the racing was a little lackluster, after a string of injuries, Ryan Villopoto locked up the 450SX title (his fourth consecutive indoor championship), which grabbed attention from a lot of fans around the world. So, that was ideal for FELD. The new venture was worthwhile for those guys, clearly – they will definitely be returning in 2015. The East Rutherford stop is positive for the sport, undoubtedly.
I believe the Yamaha rider was taking part on the tougher coast, which made it harder for him to achieve the same finishes as Cianciarulo
However, Cooper ended up on the ons, so he showcased the speed e highest level, too. Webb was quite was fourth in the series standings when fell at Las Vegas.
ne McElrath also burst onto the scene led to make an impression on the ngly had the speed to contend for ut bad luck hindered him at the first ot caught up in multiple incidents. wards the end of the series, though, podium in Las Vegas, which will
undoubtedly help his confidence when he returns to the stadiums next year. Shane McElrath was the only one of these four guys that did not finish on the podium at any point; he had a rough introduction to Monster Energy Supercross. Overall, he finished in the top five once (San Diego), and finished in the top ten at all of the rounds, except for the first two. Shane definitely has potential - he showed a couple of flashes of speed. In the past, we have seen a lot of rookies fail to make it through the season without sustaining an injury, so the fact that he scored points at every round deserves praise.
GOING ‘BEHIND THE DREAM’ Away from the track, the popular ‘Behind the Dream’ TV series garnered a lot of attention; it gives the fans a unique opportunity to find out more about the riders. Usually, the top riders are secretive, and don’t give too much away, as they do not want to expose any weaknesses that they may have. But, somehow, Troy Adamitis manages to make them open up when he is filming, which makes for a spectacular show. All of the top riders were featured in ‘Behind the Dream’ this year, which must help to raise their profile. The show is broadcast on CBS (one of the largest stations in the USA), so there are a lot of people that see it – it undoubtedly helps the growth of the sport. You really cannot fault anything that was said on each episode, as you could tell that every rider laid it all on the line, which is exactly what we need the guys to do!
Words by Lewis Phillips
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CHANGES 46 | MX Vice - June 2014 - Issue 3
In order for our sport to continue to evolve, changes have to be made. However, it is not as easy as you may think for a promoter to make a major change - there are many factors that have to be considered before a final decision is made.
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you have to applaud the promoters for taking a chance and making the change
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In recent years, we have seen multiple changes made to different series around the world, so a lot of organisers are looking to improve on what they already have. For instance, this was what the guys behind the Maxxis British Championship wanted to do, when they first elected to implement the three-moto format in 2010. The change was first made to ensure that the action would be exciting for both the hardcore, and casual fans, so the thought process behind it was positive. With this in mind, the format has worked as it was intended to; the on-track action has been exhilarating, in recent years. But despite this, most people in the paddock have made it clear that they detest the three-moto format, as they would prefer two longer races. If the Maxxis British Championship reverts back to the traditional format, it would be advantageous for all of the riders that also contest the FIM Motocross World Championship, hence why it’s those guys that seem to be leading the charge against the current format. Whether you believe that the format has been positive, or negative, you have to applaud the promoters for taking a chance and making the change. When it comes to making a change of this size, there is a lot of risk involved, hence why it is rare to see a major change. Before this change was implemented at the Maxxis British Championship four years ago, there was a lot of thought that went into it, as Brian Higgins explains: “When this decision was made, we had a long lead in time to consider all the relevant facts. We tend not to poll the riders, as this often results in a split decision. We are strong enough to make firm decisions that we feel will be of benefit to the championship.” The superpole was introduced at the same time as the three-moto format, so everyone had a lot to get accustomed to at the start of the 2010 season. This
was also something that has come under critique, as no one is a big fan – Brian stated that reviews are “mixed”, because “if a rider has a good Q1 he’s reluctant to have to do it all over again in Q2. One of the main reasons why we introduced the superpole was to ensure that each of the top riders would have a clear track, and they appreciated this.” It is likely that the superpole will not be returning in 2015, as a statement was released from the promoters in November 2013, stating that they may make changes next year. When this announcement was first made, some people questioned why the changes couldn’t be made immediately, but as Higgins explains, it is not as easy as that: “We always like to have a lead in time before making any changes. We are already working on 2015, but, we want to make sure this is the right decision before we implement any change.” Intriguingly, the MX Nationals directors took a completely different approach when making a major change to their series, following round two. It became clear at this time that the series would benefit from splitting the two pro classes. So, in an effort to give the riders, teams and fans what they want, they drastically altered the format before the third round, as Paul Irwin (one of the MX Nationals directors) explained in a press release: “We said from day one that we would listen to the riders, teams and spectators to evolve the MX Nationals into a major motocross championship, for many years to come. So, after much consultation with riders and team managers, and feedback from some spectators, we decided to separate the MX1 and MX2 pro races.” Obviously, this was a huge change for them to make mid-season, as it would affect the prize money, the points and the promotion. But, this was seemingly a move that was right for the series and the sport, hence why it was made. It would have been easier for them to wait for the off-season. But as James Burfield (an MX Nationals director) explains, they felt the need to make the change immediately: “Unfortunately the MX2 riders said that they were unhappy riding with the 450 riders for a few reasons, and wanted to be split. They said that if we listened, and made the change, more MX2 riders
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this was seemingly a move that was right for the series and the sport
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for quite a while, which helps when it comes to making changes to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series. This change (that was a hot topic of debate when it was first made) has seemingly worked out well for the sport in the USA, as Davey believes that “now, the paddock has become so used to this travel pattern that I doubt we will ever go back. The riders and teams like it better, and so do the networks and the event promoters. Moving the nationals from Sundays to Saturdays was a big change that worked out well for everyone.” Perhaps this is something that our domestic scene could benefit from; it seems to have had no drawbacks, in five years. In fact, it hasn’t just benefitted the riders and the teams, as the fans at (and away from) the track have benefitted, as well, as the change “also allowed the enthusiasts, who came out to watch as spectators, the chance to race themselves the next day, which means motocross is still "On Any Sunday" for enthusiasts, but the pros do their work on Saturdays.” It seems tradition is extremely important in motocross, as
are), it has undoubtedly helped modernize the series. Feld Motorsports took some features from Nascar, and implemented them into the Amsoil Arenacross series going into 2013. Rather than a guy having to garner the most points over the course of the season to take the championship, they must earn enough points to place themselves inside of the top ten, before the ‘race for the championship’ begins. The points are reset at this point, and only the top ten are eligible to battle it out for the title. Of course, this format has upset a few people. However, the guy that has deserved to be the champion each year (Tyler Bowers) has won, so it has not drastically affected the final series standings. But it has undoubtedly made it more exciting. This isn’t the only change that they have made – the traditional main event has been ditched for two, twelve-lap races. This has completely changed the way that the riders have to train for the events; the series does not reward endurance and strategy anymore. Instead, small bursts of speed are crucial if a rider is
IT SEEMS TRADITION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IN MOTOCROSS, AS MANY FANS, RIDERS AND TEAMS ARE OFTEN AGAINST CHANGE
many fans, riders and teams are often against change. Why fix something that isn’t broke in the first place? However, more changes are on the horizon, as Feld Motorsports are trialing new features for the Monster Energy Supercross series at the Monster Energy Cup, and also in Amsoil Arenacross. The changes that were made to Amsoil Arenacross in the off-season before the 2013 season made the series very unique – our sport had never seen anything like it! The radical changes that were made were necessary, as the series (that is known worldwide for very close racing and non-stop action) had seen a decline in popularity, and coverage. In the past, the Amsoil Arenacross riders were often ignored, because the series was looked at as a smaller, less spectacular version of Monster Energy Supercross. So obviously, a lot of people were drawn to the bright lights of supercross. However, the format changes gave the series its own identity and gave fans a reason to pay attention. Although some people were skeptical (and still
going to thrive in Amsoil Arenacross. If any of these changes were introduced in Monster Energy Supercross, it would be difficult for everyone to adjust. However, all of the teams and riders seem to be happy when racing at the Monster Energy Cup, although a lot of them have mentioned that they don’t want to see that stuff in the supercross series. Originally, the guys at Feld said that they wanted the MEC to be a unique thing, completely different to Monster Energy Supercross. But, you can be sure that they have already discussed implementing the features in the full series. One of the things that all of these organisers have in common, is that they were constantly looking for a way to help the sport to grow. Do any of us really know what is going on behind the scenes? There could be many major changes on the horizon, and like the riders and teams, we must adapt, because it really could be the right move for our sport. Words by Lewis Phillips
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MAX ANSTIE Max Anstie has had a turbulent professional career, thus far, as he is still trying to fulfil the potential that a lot of people see in him.
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For a long time, Max was considered the next big thing in British motocross, as he raced all over the world in preparation for his professional debut. Anstie, who is extremely talented, turned pro in the USA when he was sixteen. He raced in America for two years, and had some commendable finishes. In fact, he came very close to winning the San Diego supercross in 2010! However, for whatever reason, he was not able to secure a ride with one of the big teams. So, Anstie decided to contest the MX2 class in the FIM Motocross World Championship with CLS Kawasaki, who were backed by Pro Circuit at that time. Again, his flashes of brilliance were offset by some mediocre rides, and some controversy. The next two seasons followed a similar pattern, as Max kept searching for the perfect mix of a competitive bike, and a team filled with good people. Fortunately, Anstie seems to have found that this year – he was signed by Steve Dixon to ride for the Bike It Cosworth Yamaha team. Put simply, his performances at the first few rounds were superb; he immediately repaid the faith that Steve showed in him. But unfortunately, lady luck dealt him a cruel blow at Qatar, which stopped him from claiming the win. Max put the Yamaha up on the podium one week later in Thailand, and seemed more than capable of finishing inside of the top three in the championship. He has had some up and down results since then, as the team continue their search for the perfect setting on the 2014 Yamaha. But despite this, Anstie has never lost his confidence, and firmly believes that he will be back on the podium soon. We caught up with the always-cheerful Anstie to discuss how his season has gone so far, and to talk about his unique path into professional racing. MX Vice: You had a really good start to the season, did that surprise you or were you expecting to be that fast so early on? Max Anstie: To be honest, we had done the work in the winter, and we were ready. We were right where we believed that we should have been. It is a shame that we haven’t been able to keep that up. Obviously, I was riding the 2013 at the first few rounds, and then we have been on and off testing the 2014 bike. It really is a development year, and it is a shame that we have sacrificed some good points, but I do feel we can see the steps in the last few GPs. We are going in the right direction. I know it does not look like it, because we haven’t been on the podium. But, we will be there soon enough, things 60 | MX Vice - June 2014 - Issue 3
just have to click together with the new bike, and then we will get everything back feeling good. MX Vice: What is the main difference with the two bikes? What are you struggling with, and what do you like about it? Max Anstie: Obviously, the new one is fuel injected. I have said before that the 2013 bike was the fastest bike in the world last year. Now, it seems like everyone has made improvements, and the 2014 bike is so different chassis wise and engine wise. It feels like I am riding a completely different bike, so it takes a bit of time to bed in and we have to make the ’14 bike as good power wise as the ’13. We are close to it, it is just taking a little bit longer than what we would have liked. MX Vice: I was talking to your mechanic after Valkenswaard, and he has been busy trying to work with both the 2013 and the 2014 bikes. Have you found that a difficult balancing act as well, trying to race the 2013 and trying to develop the 2014 bike at the same time? Max Anstie: Yeah, I think it has been difficult, because it means that I haven’t been able to get on with my work during the week. But, the guys have been working really hard. It isn’t like I’m not used to it, because in the last couple of years I have developed the Suzuki and
the Honda. It’s a bit of a shame, I feel like it’s another year where I have shown some potential. I won the first round, effectively, but it has been difficult testing and developing at the same time. But, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the future is going to be good. I think we have a chance to get back on top of the box before the end of the year, and next year we should be in a really strong position. MX Vice: The British GP is coming up, the track seems to suit your style, but you have always had bad starts, so you haven’t had the best results. This year, if you get a start, you must feel pretty confident? Max Anstie: Yeah, I definitely do. It’s going to be a new start for me, as we are on the new bike, and back in front of the British crowd. I think this is where our season will really begin. I know Steve is working hard to put everything together; he is running the GP, and trying to get the bike working! We will see – I just need to get off the start. MX Vice: Just looking at the broader picture: you have bounced around a few GP teams, but you seem to have fitted in really well with this team, so is this the one that fits you best? Max Anstie: Yeah, it is thirty minutes from my house, and it is nice to be able to work with Steve and get everything in place. I think it is
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easier with the language, I think that is the main thing. I rode factory Suzuki and they run a very professional team, too. I feel we can win the world championship, it is not going to be this year, obviously, but I feel like I have a really good shot next year. MX Vice: Going back to last season on the factory Suzuki, you were actually riding pretty well, but you had to come from bad starts. [Glenn] Coldenhoff got onto the bike this year, and was getting good starts. Is that frustrating for you to develop the bike last year, and then see him benefit from your hard work? Max Anstie: Yeah [laughs], well, I developed the Suzuki, and I developed the Honda – I have developed a lot of the bikes! It just seems that I have been a year too soon, or a year too late. But, Glenn has been riding really well, I know he is injured at the minute, but he was riding great. I think he had his engine tuned by a guy in Holland, so I think it is a little bit different to what I had. But he was riding great, it is a shame he got injured, because he was going to be right up there. MX Vice: You have always been quite confident in your ability on the bike, and I think everybody can see your talent, so is it frustrating that your talent and potential have not always got the results in the MX2 series, and has that made it hard to maintain your confidence? Max Anstie: Yeah, it is quite depressing, to be honest! Even now, it is quite frustrating but I know where I can be, and it isn’t like we did it once, we did it two times this year already. So, when things work, we know we can get ourselves back up there. But, it is frustrating – the last few years have been very frustrating. But, I am
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working my way up. I started at the bottom; my first boss was Jason Lawrence! Then I came over here and started at the bottom, and tried to build my way up, I didn’t have it handed to me with a factory KTM deal, or this and that. I still believe we will get there, and I just want to win this world championship. First, I just have to win races and build something for next year, but nothing comes easy, it takes a bit of time. MX Vice: You grew up racing some of the top American riders as an amateur. Do you feel you got short changed a bit over there, because they went on to race for the big teams, and as you said, you raced for Jason Lawrence, and then Star Racing Yamaha? But you never seemed to get the same shot on the same equipment that you grew up racing with? Max Anstie: To be fair, I always raced Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac growing up. Jason and I, we actually had the KTM deal when we were sixteen. But, for one reason or another, I had to move up due to a rule change, and there was no space in the factory KTM team. I was supposed to be going pro at seventeen, but I ended up going pro the week after my sixteenth birthday, and I had to go in with J-Law. It was difficult, but I felt like I rode well in my second year. I nearly won the San Diego supercross, I was a bit too young – I was racing against guys that I looked up to. Then I got a deal to ride for Pro Circuit back in Europe. But, that wasn’t really what it was made out to be. It wasn’t really what I signed up for, and I had to start from the bottom again. But now I am twenty-
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MX Vice: You went to America pretty young, and did the last years of your schoolboy career there, whilst [Ken] Roczen and [Jeffrey] Herlings stayed in Europe and raced GPs from the age of fifteen. Do you feel you went to America too early, and you would have been better off doing it the way that Roczen did it?
MX Vice: Just regarding when you had to come back from America, was it hard to adapt to the MXGP series, with the different tracks and style? Max Anstie: To be fair, I didn’t think I did too badly. I got fourth like eight times that year, when I was on CLS Kawasaki. It was just dealing with the French and Dutch guys in the team, and trying to understand everything. The team is very strict and regimented, you have to go to Lommel and do your forty-minute motos. I came from America where I did my own riding and my own physical work.
Max Anstie: Well, my dad is there, and my supercross and motocross tracks are over there. I did want to go back at one point. We are going to go back and race the Monster Cup over there at the end of this year.
There are a lot of teams that are very different from the American teams, but I think Steve runs his team a lot like they do in the USA. I have a track thirty minutes from the workshop, and I can go and ride whenever I want.
At the time, it did benefit me to go to the USA, and I did have the deals to go in at the end of my amateur career to turn pro, I had it right there and it would have made my life a whole lot easier! But, ever since then things have gone a little bit pear-shaped, but again, you can’t keep whinging about the past.
MX Vice: How does the racing in the MXGP series compare to America? Do you find the style different?
one, and I am in control of what I do, there are no managers, no parents or anyone else involved. I am in a position where I want to be to move forward with my life and my career. I think that is the most important thing.
MX Vice: You have said your goal is to be world champion. Would you like to do that in the MX2 class, and then go back to America? Or do you want to win in MXGP first? Max Anstie: To start with, we have to put ourselves in a good position. I just want to get good people around me, and go forward into next year and have a good run at the World Championship in the MX2 class and then from there we will see. I do believe it is a goal of mine and Steve’s to go and race in the USA, win some races over there and put ourselves right in it for supercross. It’s all a stepping-stone to get into the 450F class, that is the premier class, but of course I want to win right now. It is a long term goal to get into a 450 team that has a good set up, and to have good people around me, wherever I race whether that be on a 450F in GP’s or America – I can do both. It’s just whatever works out at the time, I guess. MX Vice: Are you thinking of riding the first few rounds of the 250SX West supercross series next season, like Steve did with Zach Osborne? Max Anstie: Yeah, we will. We want to get out and do some supercross races. The frist thing we will do is the Monster Cup at the end of the year, and then we want to do the supercross, I don’t know how many we are going to do, but we definitely want to do some.
Max Anstie: When you are younger and you come into the class, everyone is really fast, even down to twentieth place. I remember my first race, thinking how fast they are. It is the same in the GP’s – the guys have all stepped it up. Over in America, it’s a little more intense. Over here, because it is two days, it feels a bit more professional. Over there the racing is intense and the tracks are nice. The tracks are completely different here, the last round in Spain [Talavera de la Reina] was quite one lined and strange. They both have great points and provide great racing. MX Vice: Just on the Motocross des Nations, you raced it in Lommel, but is it a goal of yours to get on the team again this year? Max Anstie: Yeah, I would like to ride in the MX2 class. Riding the Open class in 2012 was an amazing thing to do, and I was strong around Lommel, but I would like to be in MX2. It is such an honour to represent your country and give back to your fans. Wilson will be going well, too, in the USA, but if I can get back to getting the results that I was at the start of the season then I don’t think that it will be a problem [getting on the team]. It’s getting that ball rolling first, then hope you get the phone call to say you are going to Latvia! I just want to thank Steve and the whole Bike It Cosworth Yamaha team for doing an awesome job, and we hope to get back to where we were at the beginning of the season. We aren’t a million miles away and it will be nice to ride the new bike at Matterley Basin, so get along the fences boys and girls, because the race is on! Interview: Jonathan McCready
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In order for a rider to succeed at the highest level, they have to put their body through a grueling training schedule each day. Rarely do we get to see how much effort a rider puts in. But, fortunately, our own James Burfield spent a day with Jake Nicholls towards the end of April, and mirrored his training regime. James learnt a lot that day, and he recounts what went on in this piece. 24th April 2014 was a memorable day. It was a day that gave me an insight into what it is like to be a professional motocross rider, and what you need to put in. On that day, I also learnt more about my body than I have done over the past thirty-eight years! When I arrived and saw the setup, I was very impressed, as the Watt-bikes were linked up to plasma televisions, and the bike range would have cost thousands of pounds. There was also a lot of medical supplies needed – there was enough there to look after a war torn province in the Middle East! Pete and Adam introduced themselves early on, and explained what would be happening throughout the day. Pete then explained that they would need me to take a blood sample straight away, to get a lactate baseline before the nerves and adrenaline kicked in. Most people do
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this after, but it does not give a true reflection of the athlete (Jake) and keyboard warrior (me). A urine sample came next, to analyse my water content and see how hydrated I was. I’m not going to lie, I was a little apprehensive about a few things leading up to the day, one being that I had not trained or participated in any regular activity in about two years. I did manage to get to a gym on holiday for two consecutive days, but that was about six months ago, so I was not enthusiastic that this would help my current base fitness. So, apart from trying to survive without passing out, or even suffering some form of heart attack, I was also compared to Jake Nicholls, one of the best riders in the UK, and a Red Bull athlete. So, I am sure that you can see my dilemma. I even thought about going running the night before, just to do that final preparation after sitting on my ass behind a keyboard for the past twenty-four months. I guess I was a good test subject, as I am just an average guy. Although it has been a little dormant since hanging up the boots and helmet, I knew I used to have a decent base fitness, so I was hoping it might come back to me quite quickly! Pete explains the logic behind the Wilier Performance Progress Lab (Wilier PPL): “For a cyclist or an athlete, the relationship with the human body is like a jigsaw. It starts as hundreds of tiny pieces and slowly but surely, as a rider gets stronger and faster, each piece joins together.” So, that is the thinking behind the Wilier Performance Progress Lab, which offers scientific testing to create a bespoke training
think it is a modern miracle that he is still walking, let alone riding at the level that he does! plan for cyclists and athletes. No matter what level you are trying to reach, Peteâ€™s programme is designed to help make your goals more attainable. Our session started with a questionnaire that included the usual health disclaimers and a lifestyle assessment (how active I am at work, Broken left collarbone (x3). Broken right collarbone (x3). Broken left radius and ulna (x2). Broken left radius (x2). Broken right radius and ulna (x1). Broken right radius (x4). Broken left humorous (x4). Broken right humorous (x2). Broken left hand (x1).
perceived stress, eating habits, alcohol unit drunk per week and whether I am a smoker). We then discussed what was going to happen throughout the day. Once everything was set-up, Pete and Adam spent a while discussing each of our injuries. My
list only took five minutes, as Iâ€™ve only had two torn ACLâ€™s, eight broken collarbones, a broken leg and a couple of ankle fractures. However, we had to wait a while for Jake. Firstly, I think it is a modern miracle that he is still walking, let alone riding at the level that he does! Jake has had to overcome a lot, as you can see from his lengthy list of injuries below: Broken right rib (x1). Dislocated right shoulder (x1). Compound fracture of two toes on the left foot. Fibula spiral fracture (metal plate inserted). Left elbow spiral fracture (metal plate inserted and now removed). Left humorous spiral fracture (metal plate Inserted). Broken finger (x1). L3 vertebra transverse fracture (x1).
So, once Adam and Pete had this information, they could look at the areas that might cause an issue, and understand why. For example, my left foot sticks out more than my right! At that point, I mentioned that I have a hereditary condition that has given me a curve at the bottom of my spine.
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I could immediately see Adam’s mind ticking, as he examined me more closely, and asked me questions about whether I suffer with hamstrings being too tight, back muscle issues etc, as all of this is linked. Adam explained that my body was over compensating in areas where I suffered injuries, and offered advice on what parts to exercise and build up, which would make life a little more comfortable for me. So, once more, I was learning about my body, what parts were compensating for others and why. It was all information that I could take away from the day, and implement in the future. After the long talk about injuries, the guys started to take other data about our bodies, height, weight and blood pressure. It seems either motocross injuries (or memory loss) has contributed to me losing an inch in height, as I am now 5ft 7”, when I swear I have always been 5ft 8”! Then, we looked at my body fat percentage (it was not good reading), which unsurprisingly was very different to Jake’s! I overheard a lot of Nicholls’ conversations with Pete, and it became apparent that Pete was constantly analyzing his progress, and offering advice on recovering from injuries, and aspects of training that he could include to improve muscle growth. Both Pete and Adam carry an obscene amount of knowledge about nutrition, training and the human body. We then look at the muscular skeletal mobility test, to assess flexibility, posture and the effects of past injury or genetic adaptation. This proved to very interesting, as it offered a bit of insight on why I have issues with back aches and tweaking my neck, it was then explained how I could improve on this in the coming months. So, once all of that is taken care of, we had this very cool (and expensive) gadget (Power Breath), which measures the intake of oxygen to our lungs. It gave us an idea of how strong my lungs are. The data is really cool to see, and it gives you another look at the difference between an athlete who is at the top of his game, and someone like myself. Jake’s lung capacity can is one-litre larger than my own, which means that he can get more oxygen into his body. You may spend a lot of hours in the gym, but how often do you think about exercising your lungs? The power breath helps improve the intake capacity of your lungs, and is used by cyclists, ironman competitors and athletes. I wonder if motocross riders would think about improving their lung capacity? Jake did suffer when he had to blow air through the ‘Power Breath’, and he had a similar reading to myself, which seemed quite peculiar, until he mentioned that he was still recovering from a recently collapsed lung! More blood and urine was then taken, before we started what would be a muscular skeletal strength and conditioning test. There are four tests, and all are simple; a press-up test (how many can I perform in two minutes), a squat test, a sit-up test, and a core test (how long can I hold the ‘plank’ position); this all gave a snapshot of how our upper body strength, lower
body strength and core stability is. I can’t even remember when I last completed ten press-ups. So, pushing my body (in an attempt to do as many as possible) was certainly a shock to the system. It also does not help when Jake is doing pressups for fun next to you! Honestly, I managed to put in a respectable performance that I should have been happy with, but compared to Jake it was pitiful. So, after my eight minutes of exercise, I was nearly passing out, whilst Jake had not broken a sweat. We were then ready for our Watt-bikes, but first it was time for another round of blood, urine and blood pressure, so the guys can analyse the data after. The Watt-bike looks like a spin bike; except they are way more expensive and they are linked to a large plasma screen that is mounted just in front of the bike. Adam and Pete explained: “there is no point doing a lactate threshold test if you have got a bad technique on a bike. The Watt-bike helps you visualise where your legs are working”. The display I’m looking at is referred to as a ‘Polar View’. It shows the force applied to the pedals and the position of the pedals when applying that force. The screen also shows the force of each leg as an overall percentage, which may or may not highlight an imbalance in leg power. A peanut shape is considered good, as it shows the cyclist is able to maintain momentum between leg drives, and it is a shape that I am naturally able to achieve, with a fairly even balance in leg power. However, a fatter sausage is the ultimate goal and is a shape labelled ‘elite’ by Watt-bike. It shows the rider has a consistent, balanced pedal stroke, with a strong drive and balanced recovery, and Adam gives me a few pointers in order to achieve that shape. The Watt-bike is used a lot in British Cycling, and offers an incredibly realistic pedalling sensation. In this set-up, it offers instant feedback and I am able to work on my technique whilst watching the shape on the screen change. “Try kicking through the front of the shoe at the top of the pedal stroke in order to start the drive phase earlier,” says Adam. I respond and the peanut widens, morphing into something that can perhaps be considered a sausage. It is difficult to maintain, but the increased momentum raises my cadence and, with it, power, but that is the point. Since the training day, I have had time to reflect on what it takes to be competitive at Jake Nicholls’ level. If I wanted to try and get to the front of the pack (or stay there), I would spend my hard earned money to work with Wilier PPL, as I believe that these guys could genuinely turn me into a motocross machine within a couple of months. Everything that they talked about is common sense, really. It is about understanding, and listening to, your body, and implementing the correct training and diet structure to improve and increase your performance. You may think that you are training hard, but are you really fit for motocross? Well, if you want to find out, I strongly suggest that you give Wilier PPL a call.
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Conrad Mewse has had a turbulent time in the EMX125 series thus far. Over the first three rounds, he has scored just five points, which means that he is thirty-fifth in the series standings, currently.
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Unfortunately, Steven Lenoir missed the month of April with an arm injury. However, he made a return earlier this month, and took the win at the third MX Nationals round. However, he did not have the same success at Canada Heights, as he struggled all day.
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Although the end result was not what he would have wanted, James Stewart must be happy with the speed he showed, and that he is going to the outdoors healthy, where he is going to be one of the main protagonists for the title.
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The FIM Motocross World Championship has been action packed thus far this year, as there have been multiple moto winners already!
Undoubtedly, we will see more great battles this weekend at the British GP, as the spectacular track lends itself to brilliant racing. Currently, Antonio Cairoli has a twenty-four-point lead in the premier MXGP class, so he has to be the favourite for the win this weekend. But, Clement Desalle is the rider with all of the momentum, as he took a double moto win last time out at the GP of Spain. Both riders have won at Matterley Basin before, so they know what it takes to conquer the popular circuit. If Clement wants to challenge for the MXGP title, he will need to start reeling off some wins in the coming weeks, so look for him to force the issue this weekend. Undoubtedly, those two will be the main protagonists in the fight for the overall victory. But, there are a whole host of riders that could steal a race win. Jeremy van Horebeek has been a revelation thus far, as he has finished up on the overall podium at six of the rounds this year. It is only a matter of time before he takes his first MXGP win, and he may do it this weekend. In 2013, he finished second in race two at Matterley Basin, so he is confident on the track! Kevin Strijbos has really improved, in recent weeks, as well. Kevin has become a firm fixture at the front of the pack, as he has showcased the speed required to win races at a couple of rounds. If Strijbos can start with his rivals, he will be right in the mix of the podium fight and may even clinch a win! The Belgian is alone in fourth in the series standings, at the moment; the two riders behind him (Gautier Paulin and Max Nagl) are out of action with injury.
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Evgeny Bobryshev and Steven Frossard both have the potential to battle for a spot up on the podium - their speed is unquestionable. But, both guys have struggled to stay on two wheels so far. If they can stay consistent this weekend, it wouldnâ€™t be surprising to see them fighting at the front of the pack. Of course, Tommy Searle is another unknown quantity. Tommy will be returning from injury this weekend, so we do not know how strong he is going to be. But, you can be sure that he will be giving it his all, in an attempt to finish in the top three. Searle has assured fans that he is going to be ready to battle it out with the title contenders, so we expect him to make an explosive return! Fellow British riders Shaun Simpson, and Jake Nicholls will join Tommy Searle in the MXGP class this weekend, as usual, as well as wildcards Alex Snow, Shane Carless, Graeme Irwin and Nathan Watson. So, there is a lot of homegrown talent in the premier division! In MX2, Jeffrey Herlings is obviously the favourite for the overall victory. The Dutchman has been unstoppable since he returned from injury, and he is coming off a great ride at the GP of Spain. Herlings has never won the British GP, so he will be hoping to accomplish that this weekend. Although he missed a round earlier in the year, he still has an impressive twenty-seven point lead in the standings, which shows how good he really is! Arnaud Tonus and Dylan Ferrandis will be close to him, I am sure;
the track should suit their styles. They have both already won races this year, so they are certainly capable. It looks like Tonus is the only rider that could possibly challenge Jeffrey for the championship, so he has to start gaining some momentum, and chipping away at the gap. In 2013, Dylan Ferrandis had a good ride at the British GP, but a fall hindered him in the overall results. With another year under his belt, he could be a surprise this weekend. Of course, Herlingsâ€™ teammate (Jordi Tixier) is going to be in the mix at the front. Jordi had a rough start to the 2014 season, but he has turned things around, in recent weeks. His fellow countryman, Romain Febvre, will be a podium contender, also. Romain narrowly missed the podium at Matterley Basin last year, so he will be looking to do a little better, this weekend. Christophe Charlier (another Frenchman) dominated race two at the British GP, in 2013, but he missed the first part of this year with an injury, so he may be a bit rusty, still. In recent weeks, Max Anstie has had a turbulent time. But, he could turn things around this weekend; the support of the British crowd will undoubtedly spur him on. Anstie started the season in a spectacular fashion, as he led a lot of laps, and finished up on the podium at the GP of Thailand. Max could do that again this weekend, so be sure to keep an eye on the fan favourite. Of course, Mel Pocock is another British rider that will be tackling the stacked MX2 class. Mel had some strong rides at the GP of Spain, so he will be looking to build on that this weekend, and garner some strong finishes. Both Tim Gajser and Valentin Guillod could surprise a few people this weekend, as they have been standout performers so far. Both guys have finished in the top four multiple times, and Gajser has two moto podiums to his name. Jose Butron is another rider to look out for, as he has had better results in recent weeks, after a slow start to the season. The Spaniard may be tough to beat, if he gets a holeshot. Both classes are stacked with talent, evidently, which means that we are going to be privy to some great racing this weekend. There are a whole host of riders that will want to be stood atop the podium on Sunday afternoon. Words by Lewis Phillips
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Published on May 23, 2014