The Grand Prix of Bulgaria is well underway beneath sunny skies! The first day of action has actually flown by, as all of the practice sessions and an EMX moto are already in the rear-view mirror. It has been a relatively quiet day, with no major storylines to approach, but there have been a handful of talking points that are worth discussing in this midday report.
– It is hot in Bulgaria this weekend, unsurprisingly, so the track crew are desperately trying to keep the ground relatively moist. Sevlievo was drenched prior to the practice sessions and that is something that a handful of riders complained about. This was already a topic that some wanted to address, seeing as Switzerland was prepared in a similar manner. There is no doubt that this is the best way to do things, however, as more lines have already opened up in spots. It will all work out for the best by the end of the day.
– There are a lot of riders missing from the Grand Prix of Bulgaria, for one reason or another, but Evgeny Bobryshev is the most notable. It is not like he is injured or anything, although he is very beat up from a series of falls. BOS GP just have not made the trip for reasons out of their control. Well, the press release said that anyway. The all-new team, which will receive increased support from a manufacturer next year, will also miss Turkey and then return in Assen. Bobryshev is allowed to train harder from this point on, so may be much stronger when he can race again.
– Jeffrey Herlings is just ridiculous. It is official! The times from free practice indicated that the hard-pack may have levelled the playing field somewhat. Herlings came out with a bang in the next timed session though and set a time that was two seconds faster than anybody else. There is no reason to question that speed. After setting session-best times in all four sectors and the fastest lap, he hit the track again and improved on all of those times! It is quite clear that he has plenty in the tank and will more than likely edge closer to a premier-class title in the races tomorrow.
– There were a lot of questions about Antonio Cairoli throughout the two sessions, as people questioned whether the knee was holding him back. It is too early to say anything though. Cairoli is never incredible in the practice sessions, as he has mentioned countless times, so for him to slot inside of the top seven each time is arguably a solid start. There was actually a bit of drama though, as he collided with Jeremy Van Horebeek in the turn after the finish. It seemed as though Van Horebeek did not expect Cairoli to exit the turn so early, hence why he ran into him and went down. Neither rider was harmed in the incident though.
– There have been a lot of silly-season discussions in the paddock this morning. Although we are sworn to secrecy on many different topics, there are at least four moves that will blow minds when they are indeed announced. It seems as though all of the spots on proper teams are filled and, unfortunately, some high-profile names are still out in the cold and trying to piece together some kind of deal for next year. Silly season is certainly living up to its name this time around though. There is absolutely no doubt about that! Expect the unexpected.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden