Honda World Motocross rider Evgeny Bobryshev once again put on a sterling performance to finish fourth in today’s qualifying race at the Fermo track in Italy for round three of the World MX1 Championship.
Just one week following a gritty race to fifth overall in Sevlievo, Bulgaria the still-injured Bobryshev, who is suffering again with the thumb injury sustained at the opening round of the World series, put on a strong showing throughout today’s practice and qualifying.
After finishing pre-qualifying in fifth place, Bobryshev gated reasonably well into fifth position for the 20-minute plus two-lap qualifying moto. The 24-year-old from Kondrovo, Russia lost a couple of positions by the end of lap one, but rode consistently with good speed while battling with Sebastien Pourcel to take up fourth position on lap three aboard his factory CRF 450R.
Bobryshev did manage to hunt Ken de Dycker down in the closing stages of the moto, but was unable to get close enough for a pass, and concluded the day in fourth position ahead of tomorrow’s two Grand Prix motos. Bobryshev will certainly be looking to put on a strong performance, as while the track is not a favourite of his, it is the home Grand Prix of the Honda World Motocross team.
Unfortunately Rui Gonçalves picked up a groin injury in the opening practice session and has since struggled throughout all of today, finishing in 16th place in the qualifying race. He has been treated by the team’s physiotherapist and has been diagnosed with suspected nerve damage, which is making it difficult for the Honda pilot to move his right leg. With overnight rest Gonçalves will be hoping for an improvement tomorrow.
Evgeny Bobryshev #777: 4th place
“During practice there was a lot of water on the track, so I took it easy and put a lap time in at the end. In pre-qualifying I did a good five laps, but made a few mistakes, although I managed to put a good time in on the last lap for fifth place. This is really not a favourite track of mine; I was struggling last year, but this year we seem to have made an improvement. I got a good start in the qualifying race, and was battling with Pourcel to start with; we had some contact but it was all good. Then I was trying to catch (Ken) de Dycker but I’m struggling in the second section a little bit, as well as part of the third sector. I could catch him but didn’t get close enough, and anyway fourth is okay for me. I hope it’s a little bit cooler tomorrow, and although I didn’t have any pain relief today, I was struggling with the thumb by the end of the race. It’s going to be another tough race but we’ll just be aiming for more points.”
Rui Gonçalves #999: 16th place
“In first practice there was a lot of ruts and I got a bit caught in one of them, which stretched my leg all the way back. I felt a bit of a crack and I have just had no power in my leg for the rest of the day. My groin feels so numb and painful, so it’s difficult to ride; the only thing I can do is stand up a lot so I don’t have to lift my leg on and off the bike so much. I’ve had some treatment from the physiotherapist who thinks I have damaged the nerve in my groin. He taped the leg up, but the moto was still tough and obviously not what I wanted at all. The pain isn’t really the biggest problem, it’s the fact I can’t move my leg very well that is making things difficult. Hopefully with some rest overnight it will feel better for tomorrow and we can aim to get some points.”
Marcus Pereira De Freitas: Honda World Motocross Team Chief Mechanic
“I think Bobryshev did a good job today, as he tried very hard and never gave up, and he’s still riding injured. He didn’t get the best of starts but he brought the gap down between him and de Dycker by a long way at the end of the race and fourth is good for the gate tomorrow. Rui had a problem this morning and tomorrow is going to be a little bit difficult as he has a lot of pain in his leg, so we’ll just be aiming for as many points as possible. We tried a number of rear tyres here, as the track can get a bit rough and hard by the end of the day, but we found a good option for us. With the suspension we used a very similar setting to Bulgaria with the ground being hard, and the engine performance was good so we’re happy ahead of the race tomorrow.”
(Image credit Sarah Gutierrez)