At 15 years old it’s hard to imagine that Max has been racing motorbikes over half of his life and has been dreaming of becoming a MotoGP champion for over a decade.
Max started racing in 2010 and immediately hit the ground running. In his 1st year he won the Novice Minimoto Championship and over the next 4 years he raced within the British Junior Championships on different jr bikes and produced some very good results, won many races and achieved lap records, which still stand today.
After winning the BSB Standard Moto3 Championship in 2017, Max was selected to ride in both the Red Bull Rookies and the British Talent Cups this year, which are highly prestigious and proven pathways to MotoGP.
Max, where did it all start for you?
“I think it all started with my Grandad, he was a Rally Cross Driver back in the 70’s and 80’s. He competed across Europe and even won the European Championship in 1988. His passion for racing rubbed off on my Dad, who spannered for my Grandad when he was young and then became a mechanic for his friend’s motorbike endurance team when I was a baby. I think the passion for racing then rubbed off on me, because when I was growing up I can remember really enjoying watching MotoGP with my dad when we had it on the telly and I would prefer to watch the racing instead or cartoons. It was actually my Grandad and Grandma who bought me my first minimoto when I was 3! I went to my 1st MotoGP race in 2006 at Donington Park and I absolutely loved it, from then on I knew I wanted to race motorbikes. Since then racing bikes and becoming a world champion was my dream. Every year my Dad took me to the MotoGP Day of Champions to meet the riders and in 2009 my Dad found an indoor circuit where I could ride. When I rode for the 1st time I couldn’t believe I was actually riding a motorbike and it was the best feeling ever. I rode weekly at the indoor circuit (Scott Redding Young Riders Academy) for over a year and in 2010 my Dad bought me my 1st proper Minimoto race bike and we went racing!”
Max has many fond memories of his racing but when we ask him his favourite race so far he is quick to respond
“My best race ever was in 2015 when I was racing in the Aprilia Superteen Challenge. It was the penultimate round of the season at Donington Park and it was my first opportunity to wrap up the championship. At this round the organisers were testing a new restricted Aprilia 450r to replace the old RS125’s and it was being ridden by an experienced, well known BSB racer. During Free Practice and Qualifying the 450r bike was quicker, but it made me really determined to beat it during the races. When it came to the race it was a typical cold British day, but the skies were blue. As soon as the lights went out I was involved 12 lap battle with the prototype bike. We must have overtaken each other 6 times every lap and I did things during that race that I didn’t think were possible. Looking back it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike and to win the race was amazing, but the icing on the cake was I managed to take 2 seconds off the lap record, which had stood for many years. The reaction from the paddock, organisers, marshalls, my family and friends at the track was absolutely amazing as they made me feel so special. It’s a feeling I will never forget“
Racing is clearly a big part of Max’s life but what is it about racing that he enjoys the most, this question makes Max hesitate slightly:
“That’s a really hard question as I pretty much love all aspects of racing. The excitement of travelling to a race, working with the team, helping set up bike and the racing. I absolutely love the feeling of riding a bike, being in your own world under your helmet and pushing yourself and the bike to go as fast as you can. However nothing comes close to the feeling of being on the top step of the podium with your team and family behind you and the celebration”
We ask Max what he expects from 2018
“My main expectation for this year is to work as hard as I can, improve all the time and continue to learn from some of the best coaches and riders my age in the world and the UK. I’ve ridden the Honda Moto3 for the last few years which they use in the British Talent Cup, but I’ve never ridden a KTM Moto3 before so I’m really excited to ride a new bike and learn to ride it faster and faster. Racing with the Red Bull Rookies has been a dream since I started racing as Fraser Rogers, Danny Kent and Brad Ray were riders I knew and really looked up to and they started in Rookies. I want to enjoy the experience as much as possible and make new friends and meet new people from around the world”
When Max isn’t racing motorbikes, he’s a regular teenager who also works hard at school, especially as dorna keep an eye on how Max is performing at school too. Max understands his education is important, but he has a couple of favourite subjects:
“I really enjoy Physical Education (P.E.) and Maths at school. P.E. is a fun subject and helps me understand how my body works. For example what my body goes through during exercise, how to exercise and cool down properly, what muscles do what, how to avoid injury and if I’m unlucky and get injured I have an idea how to recover quicker. I also enjoy Maths, as like working things out and working with numbers. When I’m not racing or at school, I try and do something everyday to train. This is mostly going to the gym to stay in shape and riding my supermoto at my local indoor kart circuit a few times a week to stay bike fit. When the weathers good I like to go mountain biking and cycling with my trainer. I also enjoy playing racing games on my x-box as it gives me opportunity to get to know tracks I haven’t raced before and chat with my friends around the country. I also help my dad at the Scott Redding Young Riders Academy, where we teach kids to ride minimotos and learn how to race before they make the step up to racing. The kids are aged between 6 and 12 and it’s great to help them go faster”
So what is in store for Max in the future, how is he going to realise his dream of becoming a MotoGP World Champion?
“I’m really just focusing on this year and making sure I work really hard, give 100% and have no regrets at the end of the season. If I can do this, I’d like to think I can do well in the British Talent Cup and Red Bull Rookies. To reach MotoGP and become Champion I would like to go through to FIM CEV World Junior Championships after rookies and talent cup and then move to Moto3, Moto2 and get to MotoGP in my early twenties. I wont be able to race my racing hero, Rossi, but I’d love to race against Marquez and Vinales”
We at Motor Sports Travel are a big family – we all travel together over the year and we all spend time together in various countries around the world and we consider each other as family – so when we received an email from Adam, Max’s father, it wasn’t just another big corporation trying to get something out of a company or some cold caller who isn’t really passionate about what he is doing; it was a genuine request from a dad wanting to give his son the best possible opportunity he could and it struck a chord with us here in the office. A chance to grow our family even further.
So, where we can, we will be helping Max, Adam and the family out with our travel knowledge, access to hotels and car hire (and the occasional pizza) for the 2018 Red Bull Rookies season. We wish Max all of the best for this season and beyond.