Mother Nature has played havoc with the British Motocross Championship once already this year. The first round of the series was scheduled to take place at Lyng last month but was cancelled due to heavy rain and snow. As Evgeny Bobryshev landed in the UK late last week ready to take on the British Motocross Festival at Culham Park the country was once again plagued by less than ideal weather conditions.
This forced the event organisers to cancel three of the four days of on-track activities, fortunately, however, this allowed the circuit to be fully prepared for the British championship riders on Sunday.
Despite the weather in the lead up to the event, the track rode well on Sunday afternoon, albeit very rutty and somewhat treacherous in places.
Bobryshev used his years of MXGP experience to manoeuvre the circuit with unrivalled speed and confidence.
After a long absence, the former champion has returned to the British series on board his Lombard Express Suzuki with Par Homes to take on the UK’s best.
Evgeny had to learn his way around the track during qualifying, having never raced at the circuit before. He was able to log the fifth fastest time, which gave him a favourable gate pick for race one.
As the gate dropped for the opening moto of the year Bobryshev was able to get a good jump on board his Lombard Express/Par Homes Suzuki. However, a hard-charging Jake Nicholls put the lean on Bobryshev which meant he had to check up momentarily.
This left the Russian way down the running order as the opening lap commenced.
With 25 minutes of racing still to go Evgeny put his head down and focused on making his way through the field. He was able to pick off riders efficiently around the tough and technical circuit to eventually move into the top six as the race reached its final 10 minutes.
Bobryshev kept charging to close in on the battling duo of Kristian Whatley and Elliot Banks-Browne. With just a few laps left to go Bobryshev was able to make passes stick on both riders to move into fourth place behind Brad Anderson, Nicholls and Graeme Irwin.
Race two started far more positively for Evgeny Bobryshev. As the opening lap came to a close the Russian sat in third place behind Ivo Monticelli and Elliot Banks-Browne.
A slight hiccup early in the race saw Bobryshev go off the track and hit the deck. This mistake would drop him back to sixth place and meant that he would once again have to battle through the pack. Bobryshev excelled in the rough and rutty conditions to make his passes quickly. A great line at the bottom end of the circuit saw him scrub past multiple riders on separate occasions.
Bobryshev worked his way back into second position and set his eyes on the race leader, Banks-Browne.
The Suzuki pilot continued charging hard into the final laps of the race to eventually catch and pass EBB to take over the race lead.
Bobryshev went on to take the chequered flag and claim his first race win of the season.
Irwin was able to put a late pass on Nicholls in race two to finish in third place. That was enough for the Irishman to take the overall and relegate Bobryshev to second place on the podium. But never the less the results and performance shown at Culham were, without doubt, a positive start to the season for Evgeny and his Lombard Express Suzuki with Par Homes team.
Evgeny Bobryshev: “It was a tough day today. I had to fight hard in both moto’s. The first moto I had a bad start, I was around 20th place on lap one. I was trying my best but it was hard to push over the limit because the track was so difficult and it was easy to make mistakes with all the mud and deep ruts. I managed to come through to fourth place. I wasn’t so happy with that and I was a bit frustrated. Race two started a lot better however, I had a top seven start. But I had a problem on lap five, I went off the track and went down. Luckily the bike was running so I grabbed the clutch and picked it up and I only lost about 10 seconds. From sixth place I was able to push through into first with some good battles.
Overall, I had some good racing today with some nice battles with the guys up front. I got second overall on the day and was just a couple of points off the lead. I’ve got to be happy with that. I’ve got to give a big shout out to the team, Lombard Express Suzuki with Par Homes, they work so hard and on a day like this with all the mud and tough conditions everyone works double. I’m excited to move forwards, I’m looking forward to Canada Heights in a couple of weeks and hopefully we’ll see some nicer weather!”
Neil Prince (Team Manager): “There was a bit of a chain reaction at the start of race one that meant Jake Nicolls went into Bobby and he nearly went down. So, he was at the back of the pack. We knew that he had time to work back into the top ten, but I didn’t expect him to come through as strong as he did. It was a bit one lined out there, sure there were a lot of lines but most of them were deep and muddy. So overall, I thought he recovered really well in race one. The second race was another strong performance. He was coming onto the lead riders when he went down, he got back up and came again. I think he showed his true level in the second race, and that’s what I’m the happiest about. He showed a higher level of riding than what I’ve seen so far this year from him.”