News 5 Mar 2024

How Anstie's red plate elevates Fire Power Honda status

Focus cast on 250SX East following teammate Wilson's shoulder injury.

In a 250SX East field that has more than 10 factory-backed bikes inside the top 20 championship standings, the fact that Max Anstie sits atop the leaderboard with an independent effort is a credit to Fire Power Honda. Although it shouldn’t come as a surprise, with the Australian-owned team building on 20 years of international success to fast-track its status as a genuine threat in Monster Energy Supercross.

Headed up by team owner Yarrive Konsky and now under the management of Martin Davalos based out of the Millsaps Training Facility (MTF), Fire Power Honda first entered AMA Supercross throughout the pandemic-impacted 2020 season under the ‘Penrite Honda Racing’ label, before adopting multiple naming-rights partners in the time since.

Image: Octopi Media.

While the outfit is in just its fifth season of competing in the US, it has no shortage of experience with Konsky at the helm, the passionate Australian operating Honda’s official motocross and supercross program down under for the better part of two decades to become one of the sport’s most successful teams in the process – most notably with Justin Brayton winning five-straight Australian Supercross Championships.

The international arm of Konsky’s supercross operation has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, with the now-retired Brayton earning the team its first-ever 450SX podium at Houston in 2021, and Anstie claiming the World Supercross Championship (WSX) SX2 crown last year, along with an Australian title. And that’s not to mention that the squad also assisted Ken Roczen to a SX1 title in the 2022 ‘pilot’ season of WSX, as well as his Paris Supercross victory that same year.

Image: Octopi Media.

Anstie’s red plate is a result of decades of experience that have contributed to Fire Power Honda assembling a competitive package, which has made major inroads upon arriving in America, the team navigating minimal resources and support in comparison to their well-resourced factory-backed competition. For 30-year-old Anstie, it’s an ideal stage of his career after stepping back to a 250 toward the end of 2022, winning East Rutherford and earning P3 in the 2023 series.

“We’re a small crew, but the guys have done a great job,” Anstie recalled after taking over the points lead in Arlington, which he still retains with a one-point margin following the weekend’s Daytona Supercross. “The guys work so hard to provide me with a bike that’s able and capable to have this red plate against these factory bikes. It’s incredible.”

As for former racer Davalos, to achieve the success that he has behind the scenes with Anstie and Fire Power Honda has been a special experience in close collaboration with Konsky: “As a small team, Yarrive has made significant sacrifices to establish and maintain this program. Securing the red plate is a testament to our dedication and the hard work of our staff and sponsors.”

Image: Octopi Media.

While the Anstie’s Detroit podium and P1 ranking in the standings have been clear standouts for the privately-operated organization, its 450SX campaign has been somewhat of a contrast with Dean Wilson – who himself won the Australian SX1 Championship on debut last year – aboard its CRF450R, the ever-popular number 15 suffering multiple fractures to his scapula in an unfortunate crash during the latter stages of Daytona’s main event.

Currently ranked 14th in the standings for what’s almost certain to be his last full-time, Wilson is set to be sidelined indefinitely while hoping to make a return during the final rounds of the season, which in turn places all of the Fire Power Honda team’s focus on Anstie in the eastern region of 250SX. Will it be enough to go all the way? It’s a big ask when you consider the opposition, but with six rounds remaining it’s all to play for.