450 Riders Back Up Florida Event with Good Speed in Texas
Brea, CA (March 15, 2021) – Suzuki riders kicked off three rounds of Monster Energy Supercross inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night. Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki rider Max Anstie and his Suzuki RM-Z450 had a strong night and stepped up another spot in the championship points while Anstie's Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki's teammate Brandon Hartranft notched another event in his rookie season aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 race bike.
Max Anstie (34) continues to improve and advanced up one position in the 450 standings
Max Anstie and his RM-Z450 are getting faster and more comfortable in only his third 450 class Supercross race. After tight battling in heat two, Anstie earned a direct transfer to the main. An outside gate on the rutted starting straight put Anstie in a tough position early in the main, but he raced forward and gained a few positions on the opening lap. He earned enough points to advance him up one position in the title standings.
"My third 450 Supercross in the books!" Max declared after the race. "I'm happy that I got my laps in. We are learning and making progress each time. I'm looking forward to Tuesday."
Brandon Hartranft (28) showed great speed with the fastest lap in both his qualifying sessions
450 class rookie Brandon Hartranft was flowing with his Suzuki, posting the fastest lap time in both of his qualifying sessions. He carried that momentum to the starting gate of heat one where he pulled a good start and ran in fifth for the first lap. After some battles on the tight Texas track, Hartranft missed a direct transfer by only one position. In the LCQ, a top-three start at the holeshot line was undone when Hartranft and another rider made contact in the first rhythm section; not resulting in a crash, but in losing positions early that Hartfrant was unable to regain in the short race despite his great speed.
"From the first lap I laid my wheels on the track I felt great," Hartranft said. "In my heat race, I had a great start and I was dicing it out with the guys [in a direct transfer position] … Then Kenny crashed and held me up and the riders behind me attacked… I really liked tonight's track. The ruts were pretty gnarly, but hopefully the track's like this on Tuesday."
"The track was good," echoed team Crew Chief Clark Jones, "the dirt was slippery in spots, but had good traction in other areas. It didn't break down as much as we thought it would. Brandon liked it and so did Max. It was a little tighter than what Max has ridden; this is only his third ever supercross in the 450 class. The riders did well, we were hoping for better results, but we've got Tuesday coming up pretty quick."
The series continues in Texas for two more rounds. Arlington 2 drops the gate on Tuesday night, with the final Texas round of 2021 taking place on Saturday. Anstie and Hartranft and their Suzuki race bikes are getting along great on the good dirt and compact stadium floor and are looking forward to netting even better results.
Please visit SuzukiCycles.com/Racing and HEPMotorsports.com for more team news.
Photos by BrownDogWilson