The Honda World Motocross team is looking forward to returning to European racing action for round six of the World MX1 Championship at St Jean D’Angely, France this weekend after returning from back-to-back races overseas.
After heading back to European shores from the Mexican and Brazilian rounds of the World series, the team is ready to get its assault on the MX1 World Championship back on track with racers Evgeny Bobryshev and Rui Gonçalves. Both riders were suffering with injury and illness during the distant rounds, but with a week in which they have been able to get their programmes closer to normal, the Honda duo are looking for an improvement in scores during the next few races, including this weekend in France.
Last year’s French Grand Prix brought solid results for Bobryshev with sixth and fifth place finishes, while Gonçalves made up for a 14th position in the opening moto with a fourth place in race two. Bobryshev scored fifth overall in what was a build up to a number of podium finishes and a double race win in Germany over the following few rounds.
While the race weekend itself is a great atmosphere with an army of French fans heading down to catch the action, this is not a favoured track of Russian-ace Bobryshev, as from a riding perspective it features hardpack ground with tight technical turns, and starts are key to turning out good results here. It will be difficult to expect outstanding results from the Honda pilot, who has only just been able to start riding in the week again since round one of the season and is currently building up his training schedule back to full strength.
Teammate Gonçalves will be looking for two good starts for strong results here this weekend as he too is also nearly recovered from the leg injury sustained three rounds ago. The GP was last year won by home favourite, Steven Frossard and the track also played host to the Motocross of Nations at the end of last season.
We would like to offer you a video preview of the event. The video contains an interview with Team Manager Lorenzo Resta, who offers a technical perspective, while riders Evgeny Bobryshev and Rui Gonçalves give their own personal views of the track: please click here
Rui Goncalves #999
“After the races overseas it was really good to get back to doing my own thing. From a fitness point of view things are improving, and although I’m still having treatment on my leg with the doctor, it is getting better and this is giving me some more confidence. The damaged area is important for the posture of my back, which was a bit off-centre when I got home, so with the help of the osteopath we have been working on getting that back to normal. My thumb is almost a normal size now too, it is just sometimes is painful when landing on the jumps. I know I can’t stop the riding completely, so although it might be slowing the healing down, at least it’s getting better. Physically I can now do my programme again and we’ve concentrated on the physical training aspect in the last week in preparation for France. It’s a really nice, natural track this weekend and also there’s always a lot of fans there, so it should be a good Grand Prix.”
Evgeny Bobryshev #777
“I am feeling good now and I am looking forward to the weekend. Since getting back I’ve been able to train and I did a race on Monday at the Dutch championship, so my feeling is coming back on the bike too. We had a few problems there, but it was good for training purposes, as the only way for me to be race fit is to race. I still have to work to get back to full fitness, but at least we can start a bit more now things are healing. My thumb is still a bit sore landing off the jumps and over the bumps, but it’s just more uncomfortable than anything, so it feels better because I can hold on properly now. To be honest you can’t believe how awesome it is being back. We had a lot of long flights and with the airports, hotels and travelling it really took things out of me. I lost a few kilos in weight and when we landed on Tuesday I was just so happy because everything is normal again by being home, no rmal training, and normal food. Going into this weekend I hope there is no rain in France, as we had enough of that in Brazil. It’s not really my favourite track because it’s tight, but then if it goes well maybe it will become a good track for me. At the Motocross of nations I was good there and I had a good feeling, so hopefully we can do the same this weekend; find a nice speed and rhythm, then go from there.”
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“The France Grand Prix is always a good one with a great atmosphere, and I’m sure this year will be no different. Both of our riders are feeling a bit better coming into this weekend and we’re looking forward to things being easier with it being a European event. Bobby has started to ride again a little in the week and Rui is also feeling better with improvements in his health. It’s mainly both riders having some pain in their thumb injuries, which are the small areas that still aren’t quite healed. Obviously we’re a bit behind with our training regime with the injuries and illness, but we hope this is the start of better things from this weekend onwards.”