As Evgeny Bobryshev entered the Canada Heights circuit for the very first time he was welcomed by blue skies and sunshine – so different from the opening round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship.
But never the less, the sun-baked hillside circuit in Kent would prove to be just as tricky and technical as the second event of the series got underway.
During his first ever laps of the track, Bobryshev was able to slot his Lombard Express/Par Homes Suzuki into pole position to give him the number one gate pick heading into the first MX1 race of the day.
The Russian cleverly opted for the far inside gate to avoid the deeper sand found across the centre of the start straight. As the gates dropped and throttles were twisted Bobby hugged the edge of the track as close as he could.
This strategy worked wonders as he was able to get the power down efficiently and reach the first turn in a top three position. Evgeny started the race in second place, just behind a hard-charging Jake Nicholls.
Three-quarters of the way around the first lap the Russian was shuffled back a spot as Elliott Banks-Browne used his local knowledge to find a line to move in to second place.
Over the next 10 minutes Bobryshev started to get on better with the hard and rutted circuit. He put his head down and slowly started chipping away at the small gap Banks-Browne had opened up. 15 minutes into the race Bobryshev was all over the back of EBB and searching for a pass to re-take second position. It seemed as though the Lombard Express/Par Homes Suzuki pilot had the pass nailed as the pair entered the whoop section at the bottom end of the circuit. However, a momentary loss of traction on the face of the first whoop started a chain reaction of back-end bounces that Bobryshev could not tame, resulting in the Russian hitting the deck with some force.
Evgeny was able to remount quickly, only having lost a couple of positions.
Unfortunately, his bike was bent and twisted which meant he had to make a hasty pit stop to sort things out.
By the time Bobryshev re-entered the race circuit he had dropped down to seventh position.
In the final laps of the race – despite his mangled RMZ450 – Evgeny was able to climb back through the field, while fending off fierce attacks from behind by Brad Anderson, to finish the race in a respectable fourth position.
Race Two was far less eventful for Bobryshev – he began the race in second position before the fast-starting duo of Nicholls and Banks-Browne dropped him to fourth place on the opening lap.
Nicholls and Banks-Browne were able to make quick work of holeshot man Erkl Kahro to open a gap over the rest of the field. It took Bobryshev another half a lap before he could make a pass stick on Kahro.
Once again Bobryshev would have to put his head down and focus on reeling in the leading pair. It took 10 minutes before Bobryshev found himself in a position to make a move on Banks-Browne for second place.
Justly the pass was made in the exact same spot in which Bobryshev crashed while attempting the identical move in Race One. By this point in the moto Nicholls had built up a comfortable lead. This lead would remain roughly the same for the remainder of the race. Nicholls took both moto wins on the day and Bobryshev came home with second place in moto two to give him second overall.
“Coming into Canada Heights everything was new for me, I’ve never been here before,” said Bobryshev. “All day I struggled to get on with the track, especially as it got rougher and rougher, it was super nasty in the second race.
“I managed to get pole position in qualifying and I started the first race in the top three. After about 10 minutes I came off my bike and had a big crash. I damaged my bike and I hurt myself a bit, so I had to enter the pits to straighten my handlebars and front wheel. When I got back on track I was in seventh position and I was only able to get back to fourth place.
“I was happy just to walk away from that with no injuries, just a couple of pains on my body but nothing too serious, so that’s good.
“The second race was way better. I was in third on the first lap and I eventually managed to move into second. By that time Jake had a gap of maybe seven seconds already. He was riding good today, he had good speed, good lines and I just couldn’t get any closer. So, I just finished the moto in second position to get second overall.
“I was trying my best today and I managed to make the podium so that’s all positive.”
Neil Prince (Team Manager) – “Today was very good for us, Bobby’s riding is at a very good level at the minute. In the first moto he was just coming on to the back of Banks-Browne when he lost traction on the face of a double jump which caused quite a big crash actually, I witnessed it and it was a big one, a real cartwheel job! The bike was pretty smashed up, the radiators and the handlebars were all bent but fair play to him he came into the pits and straightened the bars before he went back out there. He was able to make up two places in the last couple of laps, so fair play to him. We know what he’s like, he’s a strong guy.
“In the second race it took him maybe about four or five laps to get going but when he did he caught up and passed Elliott for second. It was a tricky race, a couple of things happened that shouldn’t really happen. Basically, at the start of the race the gap to the front two increased a lot and it was very hard to try and make that time up towards the end of the race. But to be fair Jake rode great today, people forget that Jake Nicholls could still be a GP rider, he’s in a good place in his life and he’s riding good and at the minute he’s on the best level. So no disrespect to Jake, he rode amazing today.
But for Bobby these were his first ever laps around Canada Heights. He’s struggled out the gate a lot so far this year but today his starts were really good. He lost a few places in the first few laps in both races and could’ve maybe pushed harder from the start but saying that this is a track that can easily catch people out, and it certainly caught a few people today. We are walking away fully fit, even after that tricky first race crash, so, all in all, we are pretty happy.”
What’s next for Evgeny Bobryshev?
Bobby now has a home grand prix to look forward to on May 1. “Now I’m looking forward to my home GP, which is in one week. I’m going to get ready for that and hopefully get some good results over there.
“We are still working on the bike for GPs, hopefully after Kegums we will be able to try a new engine. My goal now is to get on the podium at a GP. That’s my main goal and everybody is working hard to get there.”