Max Anstie, who suffered that horrendous crash in a Lites heat race that forced a restart of the race at Anaheim III, is now back at home after spending several days in the hospital with a fractured hip. We recently spoke with his DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha team manager Donovan Mitchell to get an update on Anstie and two other members of his team, Nicco Izzi and Martin Davalos, who will get back to action at the opening round of the East Lites Series this weekend in Indianapolis.
Mitchell said that, considering how bad the crash was and how bad things may have looked, Anstie is doing quite well.
"He finally got out of the hospital yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, February 17)," Mitchell said. "He got stuck in there a little longer than planned, sometime that happens with hospitals, but he's doing good. Turns out he only had a hairline fracture of the hip. After about a month of working with sports doctors and therapy and stuff, I think he will be healthy enough to put a leg back over a motorcycle.
"The plan right now is just to play it by ear," Mitchell said. "He's got some other things that he's been riding with as well, fractured ankles and different things he's been soldiering through lately. This will give him a chance to heal everything up and maybe start off fresh with a fresh body."
It sounds as though Anstie will be ready to go again by the time the outdoor Nationals begin in May, maybe even sooner.
"As far as the Nationals, for sure that, depending on how everything goes, we expect him to be good for the Nationals," Mitchell said. "Next week he's going to have meetings with Dr. Reiman and those (sports) doctors as well and diagnose stuff. They've already said four weeks of just resting and doing therapy and different things of that nature and he'll be healed. That puts a month before those last two West Lites rounds, I know he wants to try and get out there and do that stuff again.
"Right now, he feels really good, he's in good spirits, not in a lot of pain or anything, really. They had him put a little weight on it, so right now he's up on crutches and he can support it an everything."
Anstie doesn't recall much about the crash.
"He did hit his head and doesn't really remember too much, but we had it on film," Mitchell said. "You can see that he was right behind Weimer and Canard and he goes up that dragons back, and he's definitely going a little bit faster than they are, but his front wheel just barely missed the top, which dropped him. He actually held on to the bike the entire time and almost did a full front flip. It definitely was ugly."
As far as Mitchell's East team, he says that both Davalos and Izzi are ready to go, even Izzi, who missed much of last year with a broken heel. Both riders will be making their debut on their new Yamaha team.
"Davalos is definitely 100 percent for sure ready," Mitchell said. "He's really, really happy with his bike and has been training and everything. He's pretty spot on right now.
"Izzi, I mean, everything in testing is going good," he added. "I think they've had the perfect off-season, there hasn't been any injuries, really. Izzi has been feeling pretty good, he's been in California until about a month or so ago, then he moved back to Georgia and has a place there with a couple of tracks, and I know he's been burning up the gas there."
Izzi, however, is still feeling some discomfort with his heel.
"It definitely does hurt him a little bit - it's there, but it's one of those things that it will probably be there for quite a while," Mitchell said. "But as far as riding, it doesn't hamper him at all; yeah, he's got a little bit of a limp, but there's still like a hole in his foot from where they did the surgery. Heels are a tough injury. He's definitely in good shape and been doing all the things that people said that he didn't do in the past."
Michelle won't be traveling with the team to Indianapolis, but he'll still be following the race closely, since this round will be televised live.