Honda World Motocross rider Evgeny Bobryshev kick started 2013 with a podium finish at the Mantova Starcross Sunday in Italy with a 13-3-2 scorecard for second overall. Teammate Max Nagl hinted at his capabilities, although a collision in the final moto has left him battered and bruised.
In Saturday’s qualifying heat Nagl, who made his Honda debut this weekend, dominated the race, as he took the win by seven seconds with teammate Bobryshev finishing seventh at the sandy Italian track. Following that the top 10 riders from the qualifying heat entered into a one flying lap superpole session, which wiped the slate clean again. Nagl had the fourth fastest time with Bobryshev in eighth position for Sunday’s gate pick.
In the opening moto of Sunday at the pre-season event, which sees a number of Grand Prix regulars competing to get themselves back into race mode – Nagl got a good start and remained consistent, although he suffered a little from pump up, to finish in fifth place. Bobryshev got a good start, but was unable to avoid a tangle with a crashed rider in turn two. The flying Russian managed to come from outside the top 20 to 13th place for vital points aboard his CRF450R.
In the second race both riders gated well with Nagl third and Bobryshev fourth for the majority of the 15-minute plus two-lap moto. Nagl got cross-rutted with two laps to go and crashed, which cost him a number of positions, as he finished in eighth place while Bobryshev was promoted to the third position he kept to the chequered flag. In the final race of the day a perfect start for the Honda duo gave them the top two positions with Nagl leading and Bobryshev second at the end of lap one. Nagl collided mid-air with another rider and went down hard, which concluded his race day, as he was taken to hospital for medical checks. Bobryshev finished second to Kevin Strijbos, who won the event, to take second overall with fellow Honda rider Tanel Leok third.
Evgeny Bobryshev #777
“In qualifying yesterday I was really trying to push and got a bit of arm pump up while trying to find a good way. Superpole is just one lap, so I was really careful with a lot of concentration, but eighth was okay for me on the gate here. In the first race today I had a good start but on the second corner Rui Gonçalves crashed right in front of me, and I was so close to him that I couldn’t do anything. I tried to wheelie over his bike, but I got tangled and went over the bars. I was outside the top 20, but really pushed, which was hard because there are a lot of chicanes at this track and very few places for passing. In the second race I got a good start behind Max and there was a group of us trying to pass each other. He made a mistake and I took the position, but the front guys had gotten away so I finished third. In the final race I g ot a good start, but (Clement) Desalle passed me and while I was fighting with Max, he was fighting with Desalle, but they crossed lines in the air and went down. I was leading for a little while, although (Kevin) Strijbos caught me and he was riding good this weekend. For sure it’s nice to take a podium and good to be at the race to get back into that frame of mind. We have a lot of data from the race weekend, and we know a bit more about our technical direction for the testing in Sardinia. I was still riding a bit stiff today and there’s some improvement in speed to come, but it’s a consistent weekend and I’m happy.”
Roger Harvey: Honda Motor Europe Off-Road Manager
“From our side it’s been a pretty good day apart from obviously the incident with Max, which was really unfortunate. He has been checked out at a local hospital and looks to be okay, but we’ll get a further medical opinion tomorrow. The initial information is that he has some severe bruising to his body. We are happy with the second place from Bobby and it was good, consistent riding. It was good to see him on the podium and riding with a lot of confidence. The injury with Max has upset the training and testing a little, but we’ll continue with the Japanese staff we have over this week to work through a number of updates to the factory bike we have to test.”