I am sure that after looking at the finishes Evgeny Bobryshev acquired at the Latvian GP, you are thinking “just another difficult day for the Russian.” But Evgeny actually had a reasonably good outing at Kegums, in comparison to how the last sixteen months have gone for him. Of course it doesn’t seem like that on paper, though.
In the minds of most, Evgeny Bobryshev could (and should) be a title contender; but it hasn’t worked out that way since he switched to the Honda World Motocross squad, which is when the hype began to rise. In his maiden season as a factory pilot Bobryshev stole an overall win in a great ride at Teutschenthal, so it is clear that he can be on that level – he hasn’t been for the last year and a half though. The Honda World Motocross team stood by him despite this; they signed a two-year contract with the Russian at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
However, this year hasn’t gone much better for Evgeny Bobryshev, as he has been bestowed by consistent injury problems. Currently, Evgeny is sat in fourteenth in the MX1 standings, so it clear that it really is not going the way he had imagined. So, what are the problems that he has run into this year? In Thailand Bobryshev suffered from heat exhaustion, he then injured his right fibula prior to Trentino, round four. Since then he has building himself back up from that; he missed rounds four to six, because of this. Unfortunately, he has crashed a lot, since he has returned to the series, which has further aggravated the issue.
Honestly, I believe Evgeny Bobryshev is lucky that he signed a two-year deal with the Honda World Motocross squad last year, as you have to wonder what situation he would be in if he had to search around for a contract. However I believe the factory Honda team would stand by him, as they seem to be a big believer in his talent – how many other guys out there have the potential that he does? Exactly.
Anyway, onto the Latvian GP, and how Evgeny Bobryshev performed there. The Latvian GP is an important one for Bobryshev, as most Russian fans make the trip over to Latvia, as it’s the closest round to their homeland (seeing as the Russian GP was ‘one and done’). I’m sure that Evgeny feels some pressure to perform there, because of this. In race one he ended in eighth place, which was a solid ride; it was his best finish in a moto since Valkenswaard – that shows just how testing the last few months have been for him. In my opinion, these are the finishes that he needs to start posting in order to build him back up physically and mentally.
It seems as though eighth was where Evgeny Bobryshev belonged at the GP of Latvia; he was around that spot in the qualifying race, as well as the practice sessions. Bobryshev was in the position in race two as well, as he worked his way up from eleventh. It’s unfortunate that his bike died on him, as it looked like it would be another confidence boosting moto for him. So, what actually happened to his bike? On the tenth lap, a stone went through his radiator; this obviously meant that he could not continue. In the end, he finished seventeenth overall; this was clearly not what he wanted from the round closest to his home.
Thankfully Evgeny Bobryshev does not need to fish around for a contract, so there is not that added pressure. Hopefully this will allow Bobryshev to focus on building on his results, which is important for him, at the moment. With just a six rounds left on the calendar, I’m doubtful that he will make his way back up onto the podium by the end of the year. However if he can gain some momentum going into the off season (but he may need surgery on that leg), it will be beneficial next year, which is when a lot of eyes will be on him.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Honda World Motocross