Despite feeling less than 100 per cent Evgeny Bobryshev continued his progression through the MXGP standings as he scored his best result of 2018 at the MXGP of Portugal.
The Russian bagged himself a nice gate pick with his eighth-place finish in Saturday’s qualification race. This allowed the BOS GP pilot to execute great starts in both of Sunday’s points-paying races.
In race one Bobryshev rocketed out of the gate and launched over the first step-up jump to land in eighth position on the opening lap – by far his best start of 2018 to date.
After an onslaught of adverse weather conditions, the Agueda circuit was in tough and demanding shape, however, as proved at Culham Park for round one of the British Motocross Championship, Bobryshev seems to excel and enjoy these rough and rutted track conditions.
Over the course of the opening 10 minutes Bobryshev battled with a bunch of riders, but his main adversary was the Swiss racer Jeremy Seewer.
On lap three Seewer made a pass stick on Bobryshev, which demoted the Russian to ninth position. At the same time misfortune further up the field saw a mechanical failure eliminate Clement Desalle from the race, moving Bobryshev back into eighth place. For the second third of the race, Evgeny focused on chasing down the riders ahead of him. With 12 minutes left on the clock, the Russian found a way back around Seewer to assume seventh position.
Bobryshev battles factory boys and illness
As the race entered it’s final 10 minutes Bobby’s illness got the better of him, ending his push through the pack. In these last few laps, both Glen Coldenhoff and Jeremy Seewer moved past Bobryshev, knocking the BOS GP rider down to ninth position at the flag.
Another good start in race two saw Bobryshev begin the race in seventh place. Gautier Paulin suffered an issue on the opening lap which promoted the Russian to sixth place as the field crossed the finish line for the first time.
In the chaos of the first five minutes of racing Bobryshev lost places to Tim Gajser and Seewer but gained a position when he made a pass stick on Shaun Simpson. This put Bobryshev in seventh position as the race began to stabilise with 20 minutes to go.
For the next 15 or so minutes the Russian used all of his effort in fending off attacks from Jeremy Van Horebeek and Coldenhoff while trying to chase down Seewer in sixth position. With just over five minutes left on the clock Bobryshev came tantalisingly close to grabbing that sixth-place position. Unfortunately, the Russian’s energy levels were almost depleted. As the two-lap board came out Evgeny fought doggedly with Coldenhoff and Horebeek to keep hold of his seventh-place ride.
But in the dying moments, the onslaught from the two factory riders was just too much to weather for the ill-stricken Bobryshev. He dropped back down to ninth place as the chequered flag waved.
Bobryshev’s consistency in Portugal paid off, as his two ninth place scores added together to give him eighth place overall – his best result of the season so far.
“I had a positive weekend even though I was feeling really ill after Arco,” said Bobryshev. “I wasn’t able to train during the week and coming into the weekend I was still feeling really weird. I struggled with my power [energy levels], which cost me because after 20 minutes I was out of energy and I lost my focus. That meant the last 10 minutes of both motos were tough for me and that’s where I lost some positions.
“But anyway I finished eighth overall today and that’s our best result of the year so far, for me and for the team.
“I made it easier today by starting in the top 11 both times, and I was fighting for a top-six position until the last 10 minutes. I’m happy with the weekend, the team worked well. We are still building up the new bike and hopefully, in a few weeks, we’ll be able to try out another engine with a bit more power.”
What’s next for Evgeny?
MXGP takes a weekend off and isn’t back in action again until May 1 for Bobryshev’s home GP in Russia. He will be back in action this weekend as he takes on round two of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship on board the Lombard Express/Par Homes Suzuki.
Evgeny added: “This week I just want to recover and take some time to get rid of all this sickness out of my body and then I will prepare for round two of the British Championship this Sunday at Canada Heights.”