Team Suzuki Press Office – August 23.

Max Anstie: RM-Z450 – 9-10
Brandon Hartranft: RM-Z450 – 15-12
Dilan Schwartz: RM-Z250 – 10-8
Preston Kilroy: RM-Z250 – 15-15

Suzuki’s RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 race bikes put in strong top-10 performances in the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Mechanicsville, Maryland at Budds Creek Motocross Park at the weekend.

Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki's Max Anstie scored his second top-10 overall finish in a row aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450, while BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z250 rookie Dilan Schwartz netted his fourth.

Anstie's teammate Brandon Hartranft spent much of the day inside the top riders on his Suzuki RM-Z450, and Schwartz's teammate Preston Kilroy, in only his second pro race this year, showed again he and his Suzuki RM-Z250 are front runners in the 250 class.

Anstie is riding stronger than ever in the home stretch of the championship and, in the hottest race so far this year, the Englishman fought through the top group to claim two more top moto finishes, lifting him up another spot in the championship point standings.

Said Anstie: "Tenth overall, solid day, another top ten. We want more so we'll go back to the drawing board this week and see what we can do to make progress. I'm happy with the way that I rode. I just want to keep progressing, so we'll do some more work this week and get on it for next week."

Schwartz's first moto start was impressive, charging from a mid-pack start to reach the top ten with about 18 minutes left on the clock in the 30-minute plus two lap race. The rookie didn't stop there; a strong start in the second moto had Schwartz knocking on the door for a top-five finish, but his scores earned him his highest one-day points total so far in his young career. The effort also moved Schwartz up one position in the 250 class championship points standings.

Said Schwartz: "Budds Creek was a step in the right direction. I didn’t make as many mistakes and didn’t crash on the first lap this weekend. I just have to put a few more things together and we should see an improvement in moto scores. I'm happy with how the weekend went and I'm looking forward to Indiana."

Heavy Friday rains left a challenge for the racers with deep ruts on Saturday, precisely what Brandon Hartranft didn't need since coming into the weekend with an injury. In Moto 1, he charged hard from a poor start, climbing into the points at the moto's halfway point and passing further up through the pack until the chequered flag flew. With a better start in the second moto, he kept his Suzuki RM-Z450 inside the top ten positions for most of the race.

Said Hartranft: "It was not the best day. I struggled a little with the track all day. I'm actually from this area and I used to ride here as a kid. This week we stayed here in Maryland. I had a little crash Wednesday and hurt my shoulder, so this week was almost like taking a few steps back. I've been making progress every weekend, but this one was definitely not ideal. I fought through the day and ended up 13th overall. I'm not pumped on it, but as long as I'm here fighting every weekend and racing that's all that matters. In the first moto I was probably outside the top 30 for a lap or two then I caught back up to 15th. In Moto 2 I had a good start and was fighting for the top ten for about 25 minutes then dropped back to 12th. It's just a learning year and we're just trying to take the positives out of each weekend and keep improving."

In only his second pro race of 2021 after an impressive wrap-up to his amateur career, Preston Kilroy turned his speed into strong finishes ahead of many much more experienced riders in the class. The young racer looked fast and comfortable on the deep ruts and steep climbs aboard his Suzuki RM-Z250, which is protected by ECSTAR oil products.

Said Kilroy: "Budds Creek was pretty good! I'm still learning and trying to figure this stuff out the best I can, but I felt as if my riding was a lot better than last weekend. In Moto 1 I didn’t get a very good start, so I got stuck in a big pack of riders. It was very difficult to pass on the track. I was able to get a much better start in the second moto, but a couple of mistakes cost me. Overall, I’m happy with the way things are going and I’m excited to keep learning and progressing each weekend."

Said Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki Team Manager Dustin Pipes: "Another top 10 performance at Budds Creek for the team. I’m glad we were able to string together multiple top 10s, but I feel like we still left some on the table. Still, it was a continued step in the right direction. Max was solid all day and Brandon rebounded after a poor Moto 1 performance to run at the front of the field most of the second moto. Our starts have been improving and once both athletes figure out their sprint speed for the first few laps, we will reach the next level."

With three events left in the 12-round series, the racers and teams will finish the series over consecutive weekends as the racing moves next to Crawfordsville, Indiana before returning to California for the final two rounds.

Budds Creek Image Gallery (BrownDogWilson): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Championship points (round by round): CLICK HERE

For more stories about Max Anstie, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Brandon Hartranft, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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