British championship leader Max Anstie took another stunning double moto win to clinch the MX2 overall at the Mantova GP in Italy, and move from sixth to third in the championship.
His 50-point haul saw him pull back eight points on both red plate holder Pauls Jonass and Tim Gajser who ended the day level on points after sharing second and third places each. Honda man Gajser took second thanks to his better moto two place.
“It's awesome!” said Anstie. “It's nice to come back and be on the box again. We still have a lot of races to go and a lot can happen. I don't feel like the championship is in my hands. I'm focusing on doing my thing. If I keep getting good results, greats, But I'll need a lot of luck. It's nice to be in this position with a lot of great tracks coming up, especially America.”
Anstie, who took a double win at the last round in Belgium and also in Latvia two rounds before, wasted no time in getting into the lead of the opening moto past holeshot man Jeremy Seewer. But the Kawasaki man fell, remounting fourth as title rivals Jonass and Gajser led from Guillod. Yamaha man Guillod himself then fell, leaving Anstie in third as Jonass and Gajser scrapped it out for the lead.
Anstie closed back in, taking second when Gajser took a dive, although he remounted in a safe third. Anstie stalked Jonass until lap 12 when he made a clean pass then slowly eased away to an easy win – his sixth moto win from seven starts.
Anstie said: “I made a silly mistake and in the end the lappers were in the way as it's so tight out there. I won't make that mistake again – I was annoyed."
Race two saw Anstie take an early lead from Jonass as a huge first-corner crash took down Guillod and Jeremy Seewer. Guillod got back on dead last and fought his way back slowly, running off the track as he tried too hard to get through.
Anstie instantly began to stretch out his lead as Jonass fought off challenges from Benoit Paturel, Brian Bogers and Jens Gettemans as Gajser chased them.
Gajser was the man on the move, coming back through to pick off his rivals one by one, eventually taking second with four laps to go. Jonass was left defending third and ws lucky to hold off Yamaha man Paturel
Anstie said: “I has a slight problem with the clutch adjuster from the second lap so was happy not to burn up the engine.”
Jonass said: “Second and third is not so bad. I was disappointed about my riding in the second moto. I'm going to put some more work in this week to get ready for the next round at Assen.”
In the MXGP class, Frenchman Romain Febvre moved closer to winning the world championship with another double win, his sixth overall GP victory this year.
His Yamaha team-mate Jeremy Van Horebeek took second overall from Evgeny Bobryshev and Shaun Simpson, while title hopeful Gautier Paulin was fifth. That means Febvre now extends his lead to 101 points over Frenchman Paulin with three rounds remaining.
Febvre said: “Another good weekend! In moto one I won but didn't have a good feeling on the bike. Moto two was much better. Every time I go on the bike, it's so nice!
“Now I can start to think about the championship a little bit. It's getting really close but I aim to stay focused. It'll be easy to make some mistakes. But maybe I can finish it next weekend at Assen!'
In moto one, Dean Ferris led from Bobryshev, Jose Butron, Paulin, Febvre and Simpson as a huge crash wiped out Max Nagl, Todd Waters and Christophe Charlier, Alfie Smith, Nathan Watson, Tyla Rattray, Kei Yamamoto and David Philippaerts in turn one. Philippaerts retured, holding his recently-injured elbow.
Paulin dropped it and lost four places, as Bobby sneaked past Ferris to lead as Febvre moved up to third in front of Simpson. Ferris then got demoted by Febvre and Simpson, with the Frenchman then catching up to leader Bobryshev and slipping through.
With Febvre and Bobryshev in a clear lead, Simpson was a distant third but came under attack from Jeremy Van Horebeek with Paulin not far behind.
On the penultimate lap, Van Horebeek sneaked through to take third place. Simpson pushed hard to take the place back but came under huge pressure form Paulin.
As the pair entered the last lap, Paulin scrubbed past to take fourth and demote Simpson to fifth.
Febvre said: “I'm really happy to be ain first place. I struggled a bit to find my rhythm as I didn't feel too comfortable.”
Race two saw Van Horebeek take the holeshot but Simpson was soon through to take the lead on the opening lap, chased by Febvre, Filip Bengtsson, Glen Coldenhoff and Nathan Watson, who soon crashed out.
Febvre was soon through to second and chasing British champ, slipping through on the third lap. Simpson, struggling with a sickness bug, was then passed by Van Horebeek and Glen Coldenhoff, who then slipped off. Simpson then came under attack from Bobryshev with Nagl and Coldenhoff right behind.
It looked like the Scotsman, now mounted on a factory KTM 450, would be passed by one or all of the chasers but he rallied back to hold a fine third place for fourth overall.