Some pre-season action from the HRC boys which this year includes new signing Gautier Paulin…
Both Evgeny Bobryshev and new signing Gautier Paulin will be in action this weekend in Riola Sardo, Sardinia, for the first round of the Italian International Championship, the typical MXGP season warm-up contested by many of the Grand Prix riders.
“The test here in Sardinia has gone very well,” says Roger Harvey, HRC General Manager – MXGP. Adding: “We successfully tested many new parts and both riders validated the work that’s been done in the off-season between the team in Italy and HRC in Japan.
“Bobby is feeling very strong on the bike after a good winter of training, and will compete in every round of the Italian International Championship to make up for some of the race time he missed through injury last year.
“Gautier is settling in with the team and the bike very well, and to be honest it’s like he’s never been away from Honda. We’ve taken some very positive steps forward since the end of last season, and we need to wait until the GP of Qatar to really see where everyone stands, but we’re feeling confident and certainly ready for 2015.”
“I’m really looking forward to racing because I feel stronger and I would say I’m ready,” Evgeny Bobryshev said. “Since the injuries last year I changed my programme. Since October I started really working again on my physical condition, so much earlier compared to other years. Normally in October you stop at the end of the season and have a little break, but now I was mad because of what happened last year so I focused this into training.
“Now, I feel much better and stronger at this point in the season than compared to other years.”
“We’ve developed a really good bike at the moment. It’s improved again since last year, especially with the engine and suspension, so I’m happy with the way it is now. It’s also good that we have one month of racing with the Italian championship coming so we can make some more steps with bike setting and to get the race condition better before Qatar.
“The bike looks great too. For me always when I was a kid I was thinking the more stickers I have on the bike, the faster I would be! For sure it’s a lovely colour – it’s similar to my flag and I think that the blue, white and red just really fits with our gear so we’ll look really good this year.
“The team has been doing the hardest job over the winter with the preparation and development and everyone now is really pushing their best so we’re now just waiting for the first race and waiting for the results. The way everybody works and the way I work, we’re only really thinking about one thing this season.”
Gautier Paulin commenting on his new ride: “I really like to ride this red bike. It’s a big change but as soon as I rode it at the end of last season I already had a good feeling which is important because at our level to change team and bike like this is a big step.
“Now I feel really good. The handling and stability of this 450 is really awesome. HRC have been working on the engine to give me what I want because last year it was ridden with a little bit different style. Everything is pretty much done already on the position and chassis, so now it’s just some small points to arrange, but we’ve passed a big step in a really short period so I’m pretty happy.
“It feels really natural to be back in red again. I’m trying to give my new image to my fans as much as possible so they recognise me at the first GP! It’s fun too. Everyone who sees me on the track tells me that they’re surprised. For them they thought it was a big change but now finally they prefer me in red so it’s really cool to hear that the people really love it.
“We know the start of the season is coming really quick, and it feels like today we are testing and tomorrow we will be behind the gate in Qatar. Everything is going really well though. I’m happy with the people around me and they are really fun and they work in the good direction and we all want the same thing. It’s a great atmosphere in the team.
“Like every year at this period it’s a case of finding out where I am at with my speed, with my condition, with the bike, and asking myself those questions to put all the parts of the puzzle together to be ready. I enjoy racing so I really want to be behind the gate now. It’s all going in the right direction so I’m feeling pretty confident.”