M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s David Anthony pulled off a spectacular charge to return to the podium during Sunday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race at Laguna Seca. The Australian completed perhaps the most impressive ride of his 2015 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Championship ’15 season, pushing hard to finish third with the world watching on during this combined Superbike World Championship/MotoAmerica race weekend.
The Australian demonstrated his ability to run up front right from the start of the weekend, putting his M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki GSX-R600 second on the charts in the opening free practice. He ultimately secured a slot on the second row, qualifying fifth fastest with a lap of 1:27.363.
Anthony was shuffled back to sixth on the race’s opening circulation, but made a quick maneuver to reclaim fifth. The push to overhaul a rival to take hold of fourth came with considerably more effort, and the laps it required allowed the three leaders to escape at the front. It seemed as if Anthony’s chances at a podium had evaporated.
Anthony didn’t give up and ultimately chased down the riders scrapping for the runner-up spot from more than two seconds back. He finally arrived on the battle for second with less than two laps to go and made his move for a podium slot entering the final turn of the penultimate lap. Under intense pressure for the Australian, the rider directly in front of Anthony crashed out of third, surrendering the position in the process.
He completed the final lap without incident to come home third. The result was Anthony’s second podium result of the year and also marked his ninth top-five finish in twelve races this season.
Reflecting on his charge to chase down a podium position, Anthony said, “There was definitely a bit of a gap at the start of the race. I got off to a bit of a poor start and by the time I was the next guy in line behind the battle for second, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to catch them. It took a long, long time and I could see it sort of chipping away, chipping away. I just stuck in there and watched my lap timer, and that’s pretty much what I did — just made sure I put the laps in.
“I could see them coming, but it wasn’t until right at the end that I finally got there. And I actually come in a bit of a hurry and caught them real quick and put a move on for third real early. Everyone saw what happened. There was no contact, but I definitely spooked him a bit and unfortunately he went down. It messed me up a bit so that was it for trying to finish second. I just rode around that last lap and brought it home.”
Anthony added, “It’s great to be back up here — it’s been a long time. We’ve been close to the podium all year, but ever since the season opener at COTA we hadn’t quite made it until today. I’m leaving this race with some confidence after being able to reel those boys in and run some quicker lap times than them. It gives me confidence leading into the next one, so I’m looking forward to it for sure.”
The outstanding result strengthened Anthony’s grip on fourth place in the Supersport title fight. He’ll have another opportunity to score his first MotoAmerica victory in three weeks’ time the series heads to the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway to share the spotlight with the superstars of the MotoGP World Championship on August 7-9.