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Gonaçalves narrowly misses podium at Latvia Grand Prix

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Honda World Motocross rider Rui Gonçalves put on his best performance of the season to go 3-5 today in Kegums, Latvia to finish on equal points to third with fourth position overall for round 10 of the MX1 World Championship, despite a mixture of weather and track conditions.

After qualifying second yesterday, Gonçalves got a good start to the 35-minute plus two-lap moto into second position. The Honda pilot maintained a strong rhythm throughout the moto, despite being passed by Ken de Dycker, and was not distracted by the mid-moto downpour to bring his factory CRF 450R home in third position. Bobryshev battled hard from seventh place at the end of lap one to finish in fifth position.

Following heavy rainfall, which had left the track wet and with little choice in lines, Gonçalves didn’t repeat his race one start and completed lap one in sixth place after making some good passes. The 27-year-old Portuguese star dropped to seventh after three laps, but made a strong comeback starting with a pass on Shaun Simpson with some smooth and stylish riding mid-moto.

In the closing stages Gonçalves caught and passed Gautier Paulin, and had his eyes set on Clement Desalle after the team informed him that he needed another position for the podium. Despite pushing hard to close the gap, the Honda pilot couldn’t quite make the pass on the final lap and had to settle for fifth place with fourth overall.

Bobryshev had another eventful race as he didn’t get a good start after banging machines off the gate with another rider, and although he made some good passes, he crashed on lap one and came around in 19th position. The Russian racer fought hard to make his way back through to 11th place and took ninth position overall.

The Grand Prix was won by Antonio Cairoli and the team is now heading to Russia for round 11 of the series next weekend in Semigorje.

Rui Gonçalves #999: 4th overall
“It was two solid motos, which is the main thing for me today. I got a pretty good start to the first moto and there was a good pace going with Tony, but he was definitely faster, so I just tried to maintain a good rhythm. I wasn’t my best midway through the race, as I made some mistakes and de Dycker came by, but I finished third and I was pretty happy about that. It was a good moto; I was happy with how I was riding, and I could step up the pace towards the end. In the second moto the start wasn’t so good, as I touched a few guys in the first turn. With the rain in between the races it was difficult to find lines to pass, and also with the roost, because it was just filling the radiator with sand, so I was aware of that while aiming for consistency and I gained some positions for fifth. I came close to Desalle, and thought I had one place I could pass him, but I just wasn’t close enough on the last lap. We missed the podium, but it was much better with good riding and I want to thank the team for all of their hard work, as well as my family and my girlfriend.”

Evgeny Bobryshev #777: 9th overall
“It’s been another tough day. We had bad luck with the weather and the track was quite one liney. I didn’t get such a good jump from the gate in race one, and I was coming back through, so I was happy with fifth place. In the second race I touched Strijbos coming down the straight off the gate and it put me into neutral, so I lost a lot of time into the first turn. Then I made some passes, but I crashed hitting some deep sand. I had to come back from outside the top 20 and I got to 11th. I still can’t feel the results coming, although we keep trying so hard. I am going home to my family’s place to train this week in preparation for Russia, where I hope for some more improvements.”

Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“It was the best GP of the year for the team, and for Rui it was one of his best performances so far in the MX1 class. It’s a shame he wasn’t on the podium, as he deserved it; he was riding good in both motos, especially in the second heat where he made some good passes. Bobby had a bit more of a difficult weekend. I think he has some pressure on himself for being close to his home Grand Prix, so we need to work on that, and we’re working on the bike, to see where we can improve. We are looking forward to Russia, as it’s a very important race for us, but we don’t want to put too much pressure on and we just hope for a solid weekend from both riders.”

(Image credit Sarah Guiterrez)

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