Courtesy Honda World MX. This weekend Evgeny Bobryshev and the Honda World Motocross team will have their first race outing of 2012 at the Mantova Starcross pre-season International in Italy as part of the factory CRF 450R development programme, while teammate Rui Gonçalves will sit out of the event due to a minor injury sustained in training.
After a long winter period of physical training, altitude training and a recent long stint moto training in Sardinia, both riders and team have been working hard in readiness for the new season. With the 2012 CRF 450R now dialed in after weeks of mainly sand riding, both riders are looking forward to returning to the FIM World MX1 series, which begins in early April.
The Mantova event is a useful tool in putting the CRF 450R machines through their paces in a racing environment, and while Gonçalves will sit out of proceedings after straining his right shoulder in training last week, Bobryshev will be making use of the weekend to take in further information for the development of his factory machine. This data can then be transferred to the three day test with the Honda World Motocross team and Honda’s R&D department from Japan following the race weekend, where set-up will be refined even more and information collected ready for further analysis prior to the season start.
Evgeny Bobryshev, number 777 says “I’m really looking forward to this weekend, as things so far have been going well for us. We had a really good physical training programme in December and January, so I went to Sardinia for our riding training in a better condition than last year, which made it easier to get everything dialed in. I rode some supercross in December and we had some tests too, so I’ve not had such a big gap off the bike, and now I feel really well prepared for the season. We have done some good work in Sardinia finding a good base setting, especially with the suspension and balance of the bike. I was a little bit tired coming back this week, as we’ve been training and riding a lot, but I’ve had a rest for a few days and I feel ready to go. For Mantova it’s the first race of the season, and it’s important to do nothing stupid, so the plan is to learn more about the bike and if I feel good then we can se e how things go. Then we have some more testing for the few days after the race, and although I’m really happy with the bike now and we made a big step last year, we can maybe try some more small things before the start of the season.”
Rui Gonçalves, number 999 says “We’ve had a good pre-season and the feeling with the bike was strong straight off. The physical preparation in the winter has put me in good shape, and then riding in Sardinia to get used to the bike as well as improve the set-up was good for us. We are continuously working on improving the bike, and the feeling in the team is also very good, so I am happy with how things are going. I strained my shoulder slightly in training last week, so we have decided it is better not to race at Mantova, and concentrate on my preparation with the bigger picture in mind for the year. While it is only a small set-back, I am having some physiotherapy treatment and we are looking forward to continuing with our programme ahead of the start of the season.”
Lorenzo Resta, Honda World Motocross Team Manager says “In the last few weeks with the work done in Sardinia we have found a really good set-up and it’s been really positive for both riders to spend a lot of time on the new bike. We are really excited to go to Mantova, as this is our home race with it being just under an hour from our workshop; it’s definitely the closest event that we compete in. We’ve had a lot of success there in the past by winning all three heats with Kevin Strijbos in 2009, and we won the Grand Prix there in 2008 with Marc De Reuver. However, this year our focus is very much on using the event to gather data for the World MX1 Championship campaign. The level of the race is very high with many of the top riders and factory teams, and although everyone won’t be pushing like they would at a Grand Prix, it’s still an ideal scenario for us to see roughly how things are coming together. Unfortunately Rui won’t race the event, as he has strained his shoulder during training and we have decided that at this stage it’s more important for him to be at 100% than to race at Mantova. So for Bobryshev we’re going to be taking as much data as possible from the race into the test the following week to continue with development of the bike, and we are really looking forward to it.”