The MXGP of Spain brought mixed emotions for Team HRC and its sole rider Evgeny Bobryshev – a good start and running second in the first race being offset by two crashes in the second – but ultimately the feeling is that more progress has been made.
By the end of yesterday Bobby was much more comfortable on his CRF450RW and was making good progress towards a return to form, and this feeling was carried into race one. A good start put him into third, and he spent the race duelling with the lead pack, getting himself into a high of second position. His pace was consistent, and as places were traded in the fight for fourth, Bobby was just pipped to the post as he crossed the line in fifth, but successfully resisted increasing pressure from the reigning MXGP World Champion in the closing stages.
In race two, Bobby found himself in sixth and on the tail end of the lead group until he was ruled out of contention by two crashes, the second of which left him catching his breath for a few moments after a hit to the stomach.
With fifth position in the first race and fifteenth in race two, Bobby finished the MXGP of Spain in eleventh overall. He leaves Spain positive to get back on the bike testing before the next round in the UK on May 24/25, making up for lost seat time.
“Yesterday we made a good step with the bike so I was feeling good for Sunday,” says Evgeny Bobryshev. “And the first race went really good. We made a good start into third and then I got into second and tried to follow Desalle, and I could do it but not for the whole race and then I started to lose some seconds each lap so that’s what put me back. I had a few problems in the corners as I bent the radiator a bit and it was sticking out but that wasn’t the real problem. I was really stiff, and I still haven’t had enough time on the bike mid-week. This is really important at this level, and it’s still only the second week I’ve been able to really test during the week since my injuries and I need more to get back to the right level. But from race one I can see I have the speed and the fitness back again; I’m just mis sing this mid-week bike time.
“Then the second race totally went wrong. I was lying in sixth place behind van Horebeek and in some places I was putting too much pressure on myself to try and find that one second a lap, and then I had two crashes. The second one was really hard and I hurt my stomach and afterwards for the rest of the race I was feeling sick. Looking forward we just start working hard back on the bike again to get back to my pace again.”
Keisuke Inomoto, Team HRC Team Principal commented: “Today finally the second moto was disappointing with the result, but we have made some progress this weekend because in the first moto Bobby had a good start and between the middle of the race and the end his riding was good and his race pace is better.
“We’re making consistent progress, but we still need to do more so again we’ll be testing between now and the UK round with Bobby to give him more time on the bike and on some machine setup. We never give up! Again of course we missed Max this weekend, but his recovery is pretty good and his target to return is still for Round ten in Italy, at Maggiora.”
“It really was a day of two halves today. We made a lot of changes to the bike coming into the weekend and got it working well,” said HRC General Manager – MXGP, Roger Harvey.
“We were reasonably pleased with the first race as there was a lot of fighting and Bobby was in the mix from the start, so that was a good continuation of yesterday. In the second race the start wasn’t so bad, but Bobby got a little boxed in coming out of turn two and was eighth.
“As he does he was able to manage that first bit pretty well, but then he just didn’t have the pace. Maybe towards the front of the pack this is a sign of what we’re missing having not been able to ride mid-week as he’s been recovering. Really, it was somewhat of a lacklustre performance. He had two crashes and in the second one was under the bike for a bit and took some time to get going again and then h e just lost his rhythm. We salvaged a few points from the weekend but overall that’s not where we want to be.”