Bobryshev to lose HRC saddle?
Among the merry-go-round of the decreasing number of saddles in the MXGP class for 2018, Evgeny Bobryshev’s place as teammate to Tim Gajser at HRC looked relatively safe. Honda initially saw little point in losing the likeable Russian who has been part of the factory set-up and with the CRF450R since 2011. The situation has now apparently changed. Bobryshev was waiting confirmation of an eighth year in Honda colours in 2018 from Japanese management but was allegedly told last Sunday in Lommel that there is no ride for him next season.
The 29 year old (30 in November) falls outside the strategy by HRC bosses to look towards younger riders and with many Grand Prix winners currently searching for employment for next year the paddock is currently a teams’ market; contract terms and fees very much in the hands of the manufacturers and satellite squads.
Bobryshev joins the likes of Jordi Tixier, Max Nagl, Kevin Strijbos, Valentin Guillod, Tommy Searle, Benoit Paturel, Jose Butron and others still to secure an agreement for 2018.
HRC have Gajser under a multi year contract with the Slovenian not celebrating his twenty-first birthday until September 8th. It is unknown who could be in the frame to steer one of the most sought-after works machines next to the 2016 No.1.
Bobryshev won his first premier class Grand Prix in 2011 with Honda and has been a podium contender when not cursed with injury misfortune. His career highlight was taking 3rd place in the 2015 MXGP series. A popular rider, easy going and with a keen knowledge and appreciation of how the CRF450R has developed for almost a decade; #777 is now contemplating and searching for new pastures and hasn’t ridden any other motorcycle since entering the MXGP division in 2010.
Photos by Ray Archer