Evgeny Bobryshev may or may not be carrying a heavy weight in the factory Honda World Motocross team. With team-mate Max Nagl set to miss three Grands Prix – today in Spain and then Matterley Basin followed by the French GP the Russian is the sole runner of the HRC CRF450R and cannot afford to suffer any more of own injury misery.
It is going well so far this weekend for Bobby with his best qualifying since the opening GP in Qatar.
He is nearing full race fitness after recovering from a re-breakage of his right leg sustained this time last season and also the impact to his back after a spectacular incident with Jeremy Van Horebeek at the GP of Trentino late last month.
The 26-year-old also has the looming situation over contracts for both him and Nagl with Honda allegedly looking to sign a championship contender for 2015; an investment to match the level of resources and expense HRC have applied to their motocross programme in 2014.
The CRF450R will be one of the more eagerly sought-after saddles in the paddock and Bobryshev and Nagl will be part of the pack wanting Honda contracts.
Despite this shifting background Bobryshev insists there is no extra pressure with Nagl absent and the focus entirely on his efforts. “No, no. I’m the type of person who always gives my best and I wouldn’t even know how to ‘hide’,” he claimed after the Grand Prix of the Netherlands last weekend. “I know if I push for the best then it will be paid back. It has been a difficult situation to get back to my usual level with the training and everything. The boys and everybody wants the results to come – at lot – but it is hard at this level.”
From Honda’s side General Manager of the team, Roger Harvey, commented that there is no plan to replace Nagl while he recovers from a broken wrist. “We haven’t got to replace him and to be honest in motocross the riders you might be able to get mid-season are not going to be running at the level that we want,” he said. “All the riders who might be able to do it are fixed or committed to national championships.”
One possibility for the dormant ’12’ machine was to get former Japanese Champion and GP wild-card rider Akira Narita to guest-star from duties back in his native country. This apparently was also off the cards. Harvey: “We’re contracted, as HRC, with Narita but he’s leading the Japanese championship and we don’t want to disrupt that programme because it is very valuable to Honda.
“We have looked at America but they are getting ready for their Outdoor series and wont want to be flying back and forwards.”