This weekend sees the Grand Prix series return to Russia after a 10-year absence with round 11 of the MX1 World Championship taking place in Semigorje, which will play host to Evgeny Bobryshev’s home race and an important weekend for the Honda World Motocross team.
Following on from an improved performance last weekend from rider Rui Gonçalves, who finished fourth overall in Latvia, along with Bobryshev, who had a mixed fortune throughout the races but with some solid results, this weekend marks a special race for the Honda World Motocross squad. One of the team’s major partners Investment Trade Bank, whom also sponsor the World Championship series, is based in Russia and the race is Bobryshev’s first ever home event, as the Honda pilot began Grand Prix competition after the last Russian race in 2002.
Semigorje is a new venue for the MXGP championship riders, and is situated just over 350km East of Moscow. Both Honda World Motocross riders are looking forward to the weekend, although it’s expected to be a busy one with the many Russian fans looking to support their home hero. Bobryshev has spent this week training at his homeplace in Kondrovo and has been practicing on the track his father runs, while also having the rare opportunity to spend time at the family home.
Gonçalves is feeling a little uncertain going into the weekend, as he had a crash with a slower rider while training in Belgium, and has injured his bicep. The Portuguese star has received laser therapy, and is hoping it doesn’t hamper his progress this weekend.
We’d also like to offer you a video with comments from Honda World Motocross Team Manager Lorenzo Resta and the riders with details of their thoughts about racing in Russia. To view the video please click here.
Evgeny Bobryshev #777
“After Latvia we had a really long trip here and it took a long time to get over the border, so it’s been an interesting week. It’s been really good to come back home and spend some time here; we’ve done some training at my track with all of the team, and it’s the first time I’ve ridden the factory bike there, so I’ve had a lot of fun. I am looking forward to going to the track in Semigorje, which is new for me like everybody else, as I haven’t seen it before, and I think it will be a good weekend. It’s also an important weekend for our team with our partner Investment Trade Bank. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people there and on Saturday I can spend some time with the fans, but come Sunday I will be fully focused on the race. I want to be on the podium as it hasn’t happened in the last few races like I wanted, but my motivation is high, and I’m missing the success we’ve had before, so I just aim to put a good weekend together.”
Rui Gonçalves #999
“This week started off well for me. In Latvia everything was positive, although it was disappointing to just miss the podium. I went training on Wednesday, which was going well until I had an accident with a slow rider. I have injured my arm on the bicep, so I’ve been with the doctor for laser therapy. I hope it will be good for the weekend as the Russian Grand Prix track is new for everybody, and I’m really excited to go there. It’s an important race for the team and I hope we have some good weather for a good weekend.”
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“This event is really exciting for us. We have the support of Investment Trade Bank, who also sponsor all of the Grand Prix series, and are based in Russia, making this weekend extra special for us. Obviously Bobby is also keen to do well here, but we are not putting any added pressure on our riders. For us it’s important to have solid races and build on the positives we have from last weekend. We’re really looking forward to meeting our Russian fans and welcoming our Russian partners to see the team this weekend.”
Image credit Sarah Gutierrez