Another weekend of glorious sunshine baked the nation as the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship headed east to Blaxhall for Round 4 of the 2018 series. Yet again this was another new circuit for Evgeny Bobryshev to learn. However, the Russian quite obviously enjoyed the track as he logged the fastest qualifying time onboard his Lombard Express/Par Homes Suzuki.
The concrete start pad at Blaxhall proved to be Bobryshev’s Achilles heel this weekend. The Suzuki pilot struggled to get out of the gate in both races, meaning that he had a tough fight on his hands as he battled through the charging pack.
Race one began with a mid-pack start, but Bobby was quickly able to pick off riders on the opening lap. Two laps into the moto Bobryshev sat in seventh position behind the reigning champion, Graeme Irwin.
In his urgency to move forward and reduce the time lost on the race leaders Bobby attempted to make a quick and aggressive pass on the Irishman. The two riders made slight contact, Bobryshev lost his front end and went down in the slow turn. This dropped him back outside of the top 10. With the red mist now upon him Bobryshev picked himself up and made a determined charge back through the field. He made it to fifth place before time ran out and the chequered flag flew.
Race two started similarly, with a less than ideal first lap positioning. However, this time Bobryshev was able to move through the pack a little more efficiently.
He moved into third place early in the race and set about chasing down Elliott Banks-Browne for second. Bobby made the move on the local rider on lap four to assume second position.
By this point, the race leader, Jake Nicholls, had a comfortable gap over the rest of the field. But Bobryshev was determined to hunt down the hometown hero. With three-quarters of the race to go Bobby logged fast lap after fast lap to begin chipping away at Nicholls’ nearly 15-second lead.
With two laps left to go Bobryshev had his Lombard Express/Par Homes Suzuki almost within striking distance of the race leader, he was just one second behind the rear wheel of Jake Nicholls. Unfortunately for Bobryshev he ran out of time and was unable to make of pass. The Russian would have to settle for second in the race and third overall.
So far this season Bobryshev hasn’t missed out on the overall podium, meaning that he is still very much in the title fight.
See also: Maxxis Blaxhall results
“It was my first time racing here at Blaxhall today. The track was good, I enjoyed the track all day from first practice to the second moto,” said Bobryshev. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the starts. I was about 15th place for the first lap in both races. Coming through was difficult, I was in the middle of the pack and there were so many riders. So I lost like 15 seconds on the leaders right away and I’d have to try and catch that up.
“In the first race I was in seventh on the second lap, and then I crashed. I came together with Irwin in a corner, it wasn’t anything dirty just race aggression. I lost my front end and went down. When I got up I was out of the top 10 and I needed to come through again. It was difficult, I just managed to get fifth place.
“The second race was a little better, but I still didn’t get a good start. I’ve never really done concrete starts before, so I found that my back wheel was always spinning. About four laps into the moto I got into second place. I was maybe 15 seconds behind Nicholls in first and I had to catch him up. I was pushing, pushing, pushing and I got close. I was within about one second of his wheel, but I ran out of time and I couldn’t make a pass. So I finished second.
“I’m a little bummed you know because that’s not what I want. But if I cannot make the starts its really difficult to win because the leaders already have such a big gap. We still have five rounds to go and I will push ahead. We need to do more testing and work on the starts and then for sure I can win.
“Next weekend is the MXGP in Latvia. I really like that track. I was on the podium over there last year. They have changed the track, so now we go around backwards. I’m quite looking forward to this race.”
Watch: Intense bar-banging motocross racing with Evgeny Bobryshev
“Bobby’s speed is really good at the moment,” said Team Manager, Neil Prince. “The starts just let us down today.
“He got into an incident with Graeme in the first race, but if anything that was Bobby’s fault being on the outside of Irwin and trying to lean on him to make the pass. Any rider would’ve done that, it is what it is. So, he went down and he had to come through again, which was an amazing performance. But I felt a little bit gutted for him, I was a little down because the starts are just holding him back.
“We are going to build a concrete start and just practice it. He’s going from grate to dirt, and he’s okay with the dirt starts but today on the concrete he was a little lost. He was spinning too much, we need to work on it. Its probably my fault that we haven’t worked on it. We need to build a gate because we know what’s coming.
“The second race was great for Bobby. He made up 12 seconds on Jake Nicholls and he made up another load of time on Elliott to come back from where he started. People might not like me for saying this but you just don’t really see a rider do that in a British championship race. So, with that being said I’m super pumped, his speed is good, we just need to sort the starts out and try to get around the first corner in the top five and then we can have some proper racing.
“Our bike is going pretty good now. We’ve had a lot of help from Steve at Multitek with the mapping. We just need to improve the starts!”