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Ninth overall for Gonçalves in tough Mexican Grand Prix

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Honda World Motocross rider Rui Gonçalves put on a strong performance despite riding injured as the sole flag flier for the team today to finish ninth overall after two tough motos, while Evgeny Bobryshev sat out of proceedings with illness, for round four of the MX1 World Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Gonçalves came into the weekend with a lesion of the iliopsoas tendon, a painful groin injury sustained at the last Grand Prix in Fermo, Italy and the situation was magnified in yesterday’s practice, when he strained his thumb, which has swollen badly leading up to the first moto today. Teammate Bobryshev was ruled out of proceedings yesterday after only a handful of laps, as his Bronchitis symptoms took hold with breathing difficulties and vertigo.

In the first race of today Gonçalves made a good start, as although he was only 10th out of the first corner, he battled his way through the pack to fifth by the end of the lap one aboard is factory CRF 450R. The 32ºC or more heat was intense and Gonçalves found it difficult to get into a comfortable rhythm with the pain in his hand and leg around the Guadalajara track, so the Honda pilot concentrated on riding as safe as possible to finish in ninth position.

In race two Gonçalves was 10th at the end of lap one, and made some progress to ride consistently in the challenging conditions, catching the group ahead of him, again while suffering with the pain, to finish in eighth position for ninth overall.

The overall GP race winner was Antonio Cairoli with Clement Desalle second and David Philippaerts third. The Honda World Motocross squad now heads to Brazil for round five of the World MX1 Championship next weekend where the team hopes that Gonçalves’ injuries will have healed, and that Bobryshev will be recovered from the Bronchitis that prevented him from racing this weekend.

Rui Gonçalves #999: 9th Overall
“Coming into the weekend I knew it would be tough after the injury in Fermo and I have difficulty in the right hand turns, as I can’t take my leg out to ride normally. Then to make things worse in first practice I landed too far over one of the jumps, right into a hole and my hand came off the bars. I got the right thumb stuck around the bars and twisted it bad; right from then it’s been painful and swollen. I’ve had ice on it all weekend but I can tell you it was really tough today. With two injuries, getting through the motos on a difficult track was hard, although we must say thanks to the guys for making the improvements to conditions with watering overnight. I just did my best with pain right through both races and although the result is not what I want, it isn’t so bad either considering. The heat in the second moto was so intense, and I closed onto the group ahea d of me, but the last 10 minutes were really tough. I felt I could go faster and jump further, but my thumb was hurting, so it was more important to stay consistent and safe without too much risk. I now have a week to recover and I just hope for something better in Brazil. I want to say thanks to the team and everyone who has been behind me, as this is hard for them too. To work so much to follow me in these conditions is really difficult for them, and I hope things will turn around; I need to get into my flow and get my programme back on track by healing up as fast as possible.”

Paolo Martin: Honda World Motocross Team Owner
“The weekend for the team has not really been good. On Friday it became obvious that it was unlikely that Bobby would be fit enough to race, and although we did everything possible to help him, he could only make a few laps on Saturday. Rui hurt his thumb in first practice and is already injured, but we always work together to make the best of the situation. I felt he was riding tight in the first moto, but after we spoke about this, he rode much better in the second race. The gap from the front was not so far, which is okay. The starts were good, the bikes were running well and we didn’t have a problem with the altutide, so from a technical side I am happy. With Bobby we are not sure how well he will be for next week, but it’s difficult for him, as he hasn’t been able to practice in the week since the first round in Valkenswaard. Our focus is mainly for the improvement of both riders’ physical condition to get them back to 100% health.”

(Image credit Sarah Gutierrez)

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