Features 10 Oct 2023

Debrief: 2023 AUSX Rd1 Adelaide

Main event winners Wilson and Anstie recall first round in South Australia.

It was a long-awaited and well-deserved return to the top step for Froth Honda Racing’s Dean Wilson, who delivered a clinical performance inside the Adelaide Entertainment Centre to clinch the SX1 main event victory, while Boost Mobile Honda Racing’s Max Anstie commenced his SX2 title defence in style with a win at the opening round of the 2023 Fox Australian Supercross Championship. MotoOnline caught up with both riders after the races for this Debrief feature.


Image: Foremost Media.

Dean fantastic night for you, ending up on top! 

Yeah I can’t complain, really really good day overall, yeah it was awesome. I’m having a lot of fun here in Australia and I just love the vibe out here and a happy Dean is usually a fast Dean, so happy with that. Yeah it went awesome, can’t complain.

Does a night like tonight, you know, the last two years for you, it’s been a pretty rough run for you. Does getting that win, does having the fans cheer, does that energise and motivate you again? 

Yeah for sure, I’m having fun and I haven’t won a race in a long time. I work my butt off and the level is just so insane in the States, so I have taken a lot of ass-kicking. So to come here and win, it feels good, and yeah I feel like this could really help me going into next year, just building my confidence, leading laps, I don’t remember the last time I led a lap. You know what I mean? It’s awesome, I’m really enjoying it and I love this series and this country, so it’s good.

Absolutely! Hey talk about that main event, strategy coming into it, just get through that start and see how it is? This track, going to be hard to pass on, was it execute a good start and go from there? 

Yeah for sure, had to get that start, it was very tight so I was focused on the start. JB [Justin Brayton] was next to me who is a very good starter also, so managed to come through and yeah was behind Mossy [Matt Moss] for four or five laps, kind of eyeing up places to pass. Made a couple of little runs in the whoops, played some things out and made the pass, and then from there on clicked off my laps and it was solid. I was happy with it.

The next few weeks for you, you’ll fly home, you’ll stay in Australia? How does it look? 

So I’m flying back to the States and I’ll get ready for the Abu Dhabi WSX, then after that we will be coming to Newcastle and then Melbourne. So yeah, we’ve got a busy schedule but loving it, it’s good.

When was last time we’ve seen a red plate on the 15? 

Last time would have been Auckland Supercross, 2019 I think. That was the last time I had the red plate, so it’s been a long time. It will be nice, it will be nice, I worked hard for it.


Image: Foremost Media.

Max, here we are, Adelaide, inside the Entertainment Centre, kicking things off from last year. Take me through the night, awesome result for you. 

Yeah obviously it was so intense, tight. The start was everything, it was crazy that I felt like I couldn’t make up any time, I couldn’t separate myself. I was actually pretty nervous, like I was ‘man I’ve got to execute the start’. It’s not like ‘ oh I can chill in being fifth and hammer the whoops or hammer the triple or the rhythm section’, everyone was so close. Managed to get the job done, and happy to move on to Newcastle with the red background still on the number one plate.

Take me through managing that main event, a few lappers, the track sort of changing, the whoops. How did that come to you throughout the night, and was there a game plan coming into it? 

The game plan was the start. I managed to… I was bumping and banging in the first turn, came out of there in front and then it was sprint… To be honest I felt like I was sprinting the whole time, it wasn’t that long, but I kept executing the whoops, I could see the guys behind me, I knew I had a little gap I was able to settle into my lines and my rhythm. I’ve been doing 15-minute main events in US supercross, this was shorter but intense. As soon as I got into the flow of the moto, I was just grinding out my laps, and felt pretty solid. So it was definitely get a start, put everything into that because if I was coming through the pack I don’t know how far I would have got through. It was tight.

A couple of weeks ago we had seen that you were racing the SuperMotocross Championship in America, but chose to sit out the round two and the finale. Was that a team decision or was that you trying to prepare for this a little bit better? 

Basically, I had a solid supercross season and I ended up third overall [in 250SX East], got four podiums and won a race. SuperMotocross, there was a lot of money on the line and things like that, we went to round one, in all honesty, I had been riding supercross and I went to round one and it was way more outdoors, there was one supercross section and the rest was outdoors style. Okay, I have raced outdoors for many years, but I hadn’t actually done a lot of testing or prep, I hadn’t done any outdoor laps. It was just, I walked the track and I was like ‘alright, I’m screwed now’ because I knew I hadn’t even prepared. For me, if I’m not inside of the top six, if I’m not competitive then there is no reason for me to be there, there’s not really any money, from that. So it was like, look, I’ve got two championships that I want to go and win, which is Australia and World supercross, they are priority to me so I didn’t want to jeopardise anything by going on and racing some races that I wasn’t prepared for. No one knew what they were going to be, but because I didn’t race any outdoors, I went there with this exact bike, this exact setup. It worked here on a 22-second laptime, it didn’t work on an outdoor style track. So I was like, look… It was my call, I said to the team ‘look, I don’t know what you think but I don’t want to ride around in 15th’, just because the track is wide open. Our bike is really good on the bottom end, and our bike was a supercross bike. Unless we are going to go and prep and do some outdoors, then there’s not really any… We need to focus on what we are good at, and what we are good at is supercross. Supercross in the States, Australian supercross and World supercross. If we want to do outdoors, then we have to make a new plan to prepare for that. Of course, no one knew what to expect for the SMX races, I could have gone there and I thought it was going to be more like Atlanta or Daytona, but it was easy and just wide open, of just being pinned on the 250. I was sitting there going ‘alright, I’m wide open now, we kind of needed to have done some more prep for this’. That was my mindset to it, for me it makes sense in my head and yeah the team are obviously fine with it, it is what it is and I want to be good for this and World supercross.