July 10, 2019
Red Bull Rookies
It was always a track Max was looking forward to visiting after getting his best finish of the season with eighth last year. But in 2019 goals were much higher with Max aiming for podium finishes and he gave himself a good chance at doing just that qualifying eighth for both races.
Max didn’t make the best of starts in race one dropping to tenth, but with nineteen laps on the board he was far from worried and settled in for what was set to be a hectic race! Completing the first lap Max sat tenth in a lead group of thirteen riders. Sitting towards the back of the group always makes it very difficult to make fast progress with everyone keen to move forward so Max knew this would be a race of patience.
Despite being towards of the back of the group Max showed he had the pace to be at the front of it setting the fastest lap of the race early on, but for now he was happy to keep himself in the fight and strike at a time where his competitors would not have the time to respond.
With five laps remaining the lead group had shrunk to nine riders and having saved his tyres Max now started to go through the gears and jumped straight into seventh place at the penultimate corner. But just a few turns later the red flag was put out after an incident somewhere else on the circuit bringing a premature end to the race. It meant Max would have to settle for ninth, a disappointing result given the pace he had shown throughout the race.
With the fans packed in to the ring ready to watch MotoGP on Sunday before the main show they would be treated to yet another brilliant Red Bull Rookies race. Determined that this would be his time to take a podium, Max made a great start to the race jumping up to seventh at the end of the opening lap.
As the battle for third intensified the top two riders were allowed to escape leaving Max in the middle of an eight bike battle for third. Max demonstrated on plenty of occasions throughout the race that he was able to overtake when needed with some fantastic moves being made into Castrol Omega, something which would come in useful later into the race.
Just like he did in race one, with four laps to go Max began to make his move forward through the pack quickly going into seventh place. A lap later and a mistake for a rider ahead allowed Max to help himself to sixth. The penultimate lap would see Max go back and forwards eventually starting the final lap at the back of the chasing group in seventh.
Despite briefly going into sixth Max would remain in seventh going into the penultimate corner with all five riders side by side going down the hill! Max placed himself on the outside of the group which put him into fifth on the exit going into the last corner and on the inside of the group.
Through the last corner Max stayed tight on the apex and as others ran wide Max had got on the power early and charged through to take fourth place in what was almost a photo finish across the line! A fantastic end to the race and yet another tactical performance by Max who stayed calm under pressure.
Having had his fair share of bad luck this season there would come a time where Max would get some good luck and that would come post-race as third place, Billy van Eerde, would be penalised for track limits which would promote Max to a podium position! Although Max had sympathy for a good friend of his, it was celebrations with that first podium finally in the bag!
All the hard work both on and off track had finally paid off and it could be a result that really kicks off Max’s year with two rounds still remaining! The emotions from Max were clear to see to the viewers as he stood proudly on the podium with the British flag waving above. For Max this was much more than a podium finish, with the biggest teams and manufacturers in the sport watching on it was a demonstration of what he is capable of.
With two rounds still remaining Max now lays ninth in the standings just 27 points back from third place. Things are still certainly all to play in the championship and Max will be hoping to be back on the Rookies podium at both Misano and Aragon.
Watch this space!