Following on from some positive testing in Italy this week, the Honda World Motocross team is looking forward to round two of the FIM World MX1 Championship in Sevlievo, Bulgaria this weekend.
Rui Gonçalves will be looking to continue his consistent form from the opening round of the World series in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands just over a week ago where he went 10-4 in the sand for seventh overall, with a particularly strong race in the second moto. Teammate Bobryshev will certainly be looking to make amends after his Valkenswaard weekend, which showed great speed but resulted in a crash in race one and a painful but brave ride to 12th in race two.
While Bobryshev is not quite healed from his injuries, both riders enjoyed two days testing this week in Italy to continue the development of the factory CRF 450R. The focus was particularly on refining the Showa suspension on hardpack terrain for a good setting ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, which is on the hard, fast Bulgarian circuit. Both Gonçalves and Bobryshev are pleased with the progress made with the aim of more strong results for their championship challenge.
Last year the picturesque Sevlievo track opened the World Championship proceedings, and both riders enjoyed solid outings. With the Honda duo both tangling in separate incidents in moto one, the second race brought top five results for Gonçalves and Bobryshev, who finished fifth and sixth overall for their first outing of the season.
Rui Gonçalves #999:
“After Valkenswaard we have continued the training programme and this week we had a good two days in Italy with team and the Showa suspension guys. It was very positive and good to ride hardpack again to get a set-up for Bulgaria, so I’m happy with that. It has been an important week, as we’ve only really raced in the sand up until now. I like Bulgaria; last year it was the first round and I had a good race, so I’m looking forward to this year. I’m aiming for good starts and solid race results, and with the track being so fast the starts are really important. I really enjoy the big up-hills and big jumps, so I can’t wait to get out on track.”
Evgeny Bobryshev #777:
“Valkenswaard was a tough weekend, and I had to rest for a few days after to try and help my injuries heal up, as I was very sore. We then went to Italy for a little bit of testing with the suspension to get ready fo r the hardpack of Bulgaria, as I have mainly been riding in the sand during the pre-season. I was quite surprised how quickly the feeling came good on the hardpack, but unfortunately I still have a lot of pain in the thumb, especially over the braking bumps. It’s still uncomfortable, but I have few more days before the race and it’s improving day by day, so hopefully it will be a bit better. I also have pain in other parts of my body from the crash in Valkenswaard, but it is the thumb that’s the main issue. With Bulgaria I like the track and we had a decent results there last year, so we will see how I feel there and try to get some good points. In the testing we made some small improvements, but we already have a good set-up so it was mainly just refining that.”
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“We are really looking forward to Bulgaria. We had some good results there last year for the first round of the championship, and we will be looking for some more consistent results this weekend. Bobby is still not healed from his injuries, especially with the thumb, so it’s important for him to stay safe and do the best job he can. With Rui it will be important to try and start higher than at the last round to get the results he has shown he is capable of. We have had some good testing this week in readiness for the real hard ground of Sevlievo, especially with Showa on the suspension side of things, so we’re well prepared ahead of the race.
Image credit Sarah Gutierrez