The Honda World Motocross team has positives to take away from round six of the MX1 World Championship in St Jean D’Angely, France with Rui Gonçalves finishing 10th overall and Evgeny Bobryshev taking sixth in the opening moto.
Although it was a Grand Prix where neither rider fulfilled their potential, in moto one there was a definitive improvement in Gonçalves’ start to the race, as he launched out of the gate and rode hard for the opening few laps in third place. The Portuguese star showed a good pace, but went on to suffer with arm pump after the 15-minute mark, and eventually slipped down the order to finish in ninth position.
Teammate Bobryshev, who like Gonçalves is recovering from injury, didn’t get the best start to the first race, as he picked his way around the first lap and lost a number of positions. However a strong and impressive charge with superb speed saw the Honda pilot come through from ninth to hunt down fifth placed Clement Desalle, although despite the Russian-ace’s best efforts in the closing stages, he was forced to settle for sixth at the chequered flag.
In race two both riders got away well from the gate, but while Gonçalves took up eighth position, Bobryshev had a slide on one of the hard, baked ruts and went down hard in lap one. Gonçalves again had arm pump and was struggling to hold on as he maintained ninth place throughout the majority of the race for 10th overall, while Bobryshev tried to come through from the very back of the pack. The Russian star did make his way up to 14th place, but collided with Davide Guarneri in a racing incident five laps from the end of the 35-minute plus two-lap moto, breaking the water pump on his machine and subsequently ruling him out of the race.
The overall Grand Prix was won by championship leader Antonio Cairoli. The Honda World Motocross team now heads to the next World Championship round in Agueda, Portugal next weekend.
Rui Gonçalves #999: 9th overall
“It was a tough GP to be honest. I didn’t get such good starts, but I managed to make things happen in the first few laps, which was a good improvement. In the first moto I was riding in third place for a while, but when I got to the 15-minute mark I got really bad arm-pump and was struggling to hold on. Maybe it’s because I haven’t ridden so much hardpack in the winter due to the shoulder injury I had, but it was kind of strange. Everyone seems to have such good rhythm, but I had to focus so much on my landings, and I couldn’t make the progress I wanted to. I was happy I could ride hard in the beginning, but I just didn’t have a good feeling with the type of ground. In the second moto I didn’t get a good start, but I made progress in the first few laps and again I got arm-pump, so I just couldn’t hold on. I hope things will turn around, as I feel two times in the top ten isn’t what we work so hard as a team for, but we are making progress and I think it’s just a matter of time before we reach the results we aim for. Now I’m heading home to Portugal where I’ll get to spend some time with my family and riding locally in preparation for my home Grand Prix in Portugal.”
Evgeny Bobryshev #777: 14th overall
“Today started off well and I was really looking forward to good results. In the first race I got a good jump off the start, but I made some mistakes on the first lap, so I gave myself some work to do. I came through to sixth, and I had good speed, but it’s really difficult to pass here. Physically I felt good too, which was also really positive for me and to be battling with Desalle was great as we were close, although I couldn’t make the pass in the end. The roost here is really bad so I wanted to improve the start for the second race, but I was happy overall with the speed on the hardpack ground. I had a good start in the second race but I was a bit unlucky, as there was a rut in some dust on one of the jump landings that I didn’t see halfway around the first lap, and I went sideways over it then crashed. I was coming through from the back, although passing was hard and I had problems with the throttle after damaging it, but then towards the end I had a contact with Guarneri, which broke my water pump, so that meant we didn’t finish the race. Now I’ve just got to put the weekend behind me and move forwards; I’m feeling so much better now, and we just need a bit of luck on our side now to get to where we should be.”
MPORA Action Sports
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“For sure it’s not been an easy weekend. Saturday was much better than today, which was not the result we were expecting. We had some bad luck with what happened with Bobby, and it was a big shame after all of the hard work he put into his race. With Rui we have definitely seen an improvement in his first race performance, as he usually struggles a little in his first outing. We saw a positive change in mentality and approach for the race, as he rode really hard in the first few laps, which put him in a better position for a good result at the end. I am confident for him at the next race, especially as it’s his home event, and we’ll be continuing the hard work there.”