Honda World Motocross duo Evgeny Bobryshev and Max Nagl demonstrated good speed in both motos today in Ernée, France, although the result doesn’t really portray their potential, as they battled the field for 10th and 11th overall during round eight of the MX1 World Championship.
In the opening race of the day neither rider got a good start, with Nagl around 23rd and Bobryshev well outside of the top 10. Nagl fought hard around the narrow, technical, hardpack track, picking his way through lap by lap until he reached Tommy Searle mid-moto. In an epic battle that saw the two exchange places a number of times, they elevated their way through the field right until the chequered flag with Nagl taking a well-earned eighth position aboard his Dunlop-shod factory CRF450R.
Bobryshev found it tough going, as he struggled to relax and find his racing rhythm with his sore leg from an injury sustained earlier in the year. In the closing stages of the race the Russian star did begin to make progress, passing two riders on the last lap, to cross the finish line in 12th position.
In the second moto disaster struck for the Honda men after they both powered down the start straight in what looked to be good positions heading into turn one. Nagl was sure he had clinched the holeshot, but nearly collided with Kevin Strijbos as he came out of the turn, which saw a melee of riders run into the back of the Honda racer as he slammed on the brakes, including his teammate Bobryshev.
Bobryshev managed to get back on to get away with the back of the pack and, as he relaxed into the race, made good passes while finding a much better pace to the first moto to finish in ninth position and 10th overall.
After remounting dead last Nagl fought his way back to the top 10, when a stone from the roost was caught in his throttle, forcing the power to stay open as he jumped into a tight turn and causing the German racer to crash hard. After restarting again, an incredibly unlucky Nagl had another slip off after the exhaustion of battling so ha rd set in, and the Honda racer concluded the race in 13th position for 11th overall.
Gautier Paulin won race one in front of his home crowd, while Cairoli won the second race and the overall.
Evgeny Bobryshev #777: 10th overall
“The track wasn’t great for passing, and it’s been tough from the beginning of the weekend. On top of that, a lot of the passing has to be done by pressuring the guy in front into a mistake to get around him. In the warm-up this morning I tried to push for a good lap, but it wasn’t as good as I wanted. In the first race I didn’t get a good start, and after this I was just battling with my bike and myself, as I had so little confidence, and I was just trying to find the good rhythm. I was like wood on the bike; just so stiff and no flexibility, as I was not finding the balance in the right corners, as well as using the pressure of the left leg too much. In the second race it was much better, because I was riding better, but I was involved in the first turn crash. I had better lines and better speed, but I had to come through. I came back from nearly last to ninth, although it was still tough, as race by race I am coming back to form again. To be honest when I broke the bone I thought it would be possible to be back in a couple of weeks, and I never expected it to be like this, but it is getting better every week, and I have to be patient, although I’m disappointed not to achieve more.”
Max Nagl #12: 11th overall
“At the moment it really isn’t going in the direction I want. I can improve the riding week-by-week and today I was really fast, but in the first race I had a terrible gate jump. I fought through to eighth position, had the second fastest lap time, and I was really happy with my riding. I had a big battle with Tommy, which was tough, as he is riding really aggressively and I had to be quite careful. In the second heat we made some small adjustments, and I had a really good gate jump. I thought I was first into the first turn, but I nearly hit another rider and then the riders behind me collided with my bike, so I basically just fell down. I was so disappointed, as when you crash in the first turn you know it is going to be so hard, and I was dead last. I fought my way through to a top 10, but then my throttle stuck open on a jump from a stone that got stuck after I was roosted down the straight, and I crashed. So then I tried to get myself going again, but my arms were getting tired and I crashed again on a downhill, so it was just a ride to the finish after that. Grip was hard to find here, but I liked it and my speed was good, although there just always seems to be something stopping me achieving what we should be. At the moment I am missing that part of the puzzle, and we need some luck on our side.”
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“It was a hard weekend on a difficult track. For the first race I believe Max rode his best moto of the year, as he came from outside the top 20 to eighth position, and he was fighting like a tiger against the other riders. He had the second best lap time of the race, which demonstrates the speed is there. In the second moto we had a lot of bad luck with both riders crashing in the first turn. Bobby rode a lot better in that heat, as he came back to ninth place, and Max came from last to tenth, although a couple of issues in the last few laps meant he crashed again. On a positive note, we can see the speed is there in both riders, and Bobby’s injury is improving, but we need that little bit of luck to get back to where we should be; I hope this will be next weekend at the team’s home race.”