The MXGP competitors travelled the long journey to the picturesque Neuquen circuit in Argentina for the opening round of the 2018 season.
After a slightly unconventional off-season Evgeny Bobryshev arrived in the southern hemisphere ready for his debut ride with the new BOS GP team. Despite still having to work some things out on the bike Bobryshev started off the weekend in fine fashion with a respectable 11th place finish in the qualification race.
After making a few adjustments overnight Bobryshev was feeling more comfortable onboard his new RM-Z 450 when the gates finally dropped for race one on Sunday. As the field completed lap one Bobryshev sat in 13th position just behind Red Bull KTM’s Glen Coldenhoff. In the fray of lap two the Russian was shuffled back a place as Husqvarna’s Max Anstie made a move forwards. The race soon settled down and Bobryshev sat comfortably in 14th position.
As the race was about to reach the halfway mark Shaun Simpson crashed out of a top ten position, the Scotsman remounted just ahead of Max Nagl and Evgeny Bobryshev. This was the start of a three-way battle that would see Bobryshev first pass Simpson before chasing down Nagl. Evgeny was able to find a way around the German with 14 minutes still left on the clock.
Bobryshev had the two riders breathing down his neck as the race reached the final 10 minutes. Simpson was able to regroup after his crash to pass Nagl before finding a way around the Russian. A few mistakes in the final third of the race threw Bobryshev out of rhythm and allowed Nagl to make a pass with five minutes to go. Bobryshev settled down to finish in 14th position as the opening moto of the 2018 season came to a close.
Evgeny was able to avoid some first corner carnage to start race two in a better position. After initially holding ninth place, Bobryshev dropped a couple of positions in the chaos of the opening laps. Once the race calmed down Bobryshev began working his way forward, the Russian took advantage of a fallen rider to move into tenth place before setting his eyes on Glen Coldenhoff. For almost 10 minutes Bobryshev chipped away at the Factory KTM rider before he finally made a pass just over halfway into the moto. Evgeny endured constant pressure from Coldenhoff and from a hard-charging Alessandro Lupino for the remainder of the race to eventually cross the finish line in ninth place. This meant that Bobryshev finished 12th overall on the day, a solid start to the season with plenty to build from and much to work on as the season progresses.
“It was a tough weekend, admitted Bobryshev. “I started my riding and training in the off-season quite late, my preparation started in January when I was racing Arenacross. So, coming into the weekend I didn’t really know what to expect because everything is so new at the moment. The plan is to build everything from this weekend onwards.
“During the qualifying race on Saturday I found it hard to get a good feeling on the bike, we made some changes for Sunday and I was feeling better. But we do have a lot of work to do to get more confidence and get to another level.
“I didn’t get good starts in either of the races so I was battling from the back. I made a few mistakes in the first race, I couldn’t get in a nice rhythm. I eased off a little in the second half because I felt out of breath.
“The second race was much better. I had a good flow. I started in 12th, which was much better. I was able to get through into ninth. After that I was just staying behind the guys and I crossed the line ninth. For sure that’s not the place where I want to be considering the results I’ve had in the past, but we’ll start building from here and in a month or so it’ll be a different story for sure.
“Overall I’m quite happy, the team works well together, everyone is really motivated to go ahead. We will all do some hard work to get where we need to be.
“I’m looking forward to the British Championship next weekend. I know the track there at Lyng. For me the main thing is that the weather stays good. Hopefully we won’t have any snow or rain and we’ll be able to enjoy the racing.”
Evgeny Bobryshev will return to racing this weekend as he makes his debut for the Lombard Express Suzuki with Par Homes team in the British Motocross Championship.