Evgeny Bobryshev, of the Honda World Motocross Team, took his first ever podium in the MX1 class at this weekend’s GP of Glen Helen. The big Russian put together two excellent motos, finishing sixth and third to take third in the overall classification.
The riders awoke to a very different track to the one they tackled in Saturday’s qualifying heat. The sky was overcast and the rain was falling heavily as they went out for morning warm-up. And although by the start of the first moto the rain had ceased the track was still incredibly slippery and boggy in sections.
The first moto proved difficult for both Honda World Motocross Team riders. Bobryshev utlised the power of the Honda CRF450R well as the gate dropped – rounding the first turn in fifth – but struggled to find his groove and began to drop off the lead bunch, slipping back to sixth. Teammate Rui Gonçalves had a nightmare start getting caught up mid-pack, eventually emerging in 13th. Both riders began to find their rhythm as the moto progressed but failed to alter their position dramatically come race end with Bobryshev finishing in sixth and Goncalves 12th.
Better was to come in the second moto as both riders got starts and were within the top five come the end of lap one. Gonçalves and Bobryshev cemented their top five status with a series of consistent laps in the middle section of the race and as the moto reached its conclusion a top three position looked possible for Bobryshev as Strijbos came into sight.
By the closing laps Bobryshev and Gonçalves had once again adopted racing formation – fourth and fifth – as they closed down Strijbos. Bobryshev made the pass on the penultimate lap but this was not enough to elevate him to an overall podium position – he needed the help of Gonçalves to deprive Strijbos of the fourth place points.
Fortunately, Gonçalves obliged – taking the position just before the last-lap board – but things did not end there! Gonçalves continued to push and got on to the back-wheel of his Russian team-mate, threatening the pass that would knock Bobryshev off the podium. However, he managed to hang on, crossing the line in third to earn his maiden podium in the premier class.
Evgeny Bobryshev, Honda World Motocross
“I feel great, more than great to be first time on the podium. I have not done this on my own, it is a real team effort. We are a good group and feel more like a family and I think we are building something really special here. I was a bit disappointed with first moto but scored some good points. I needed to improve the way I was riding and in the second moto that happened! I feel I have taken a big step now.”
Rui Gonçalves, Honda World Motocross
“First moto I had some problems at the start and really struggled to come back with the track conditions being so tough. In between motos I was not feeling so good and had some stomach pains but visited the medical centre and got a remedy to the problem. Second moto was much better, I got the start and was running with the front group. I felt like I was getting stronger as the moto went on and was challenging right up until the end.”