Email SubscriptionEnter your e-mail address to receive the latest issue update every two weeks. Don't miss out!
Factory Honda star Evgeny Bobryshev talks 2012…
Russia’s great hope in the west, Evgeny Bobryshev, will be equipped with an awesome machine from the East with the 2012 factory Honda in the MX1 class. Here he chats about the season ahead
Photo by Ray Archer
Evgeny, 2011 was a learning year as a factory
rider, but you must have been pleased with how it turned out ?
Yes, even though I had that injury in Belgium
that disrupted the season I was happy with how
things went. It could have been worse! Especially
with the problem with my neck, in the end I only
missed one race. Part of me feels like I could
have had third in the championship, but I was
really on the limit to do that and in the end it
wasn’t possible. This sport and what I do every
day towards it is my life, so to finish fourth .for sure I was happy with that.
In a way does this mean that 2012 is ‘the year of truth’?
I don’t feel this. Honda has a high goal for 2012
and I know this, but I am not letting any
pressure get to me. Within myself I know I am
doing all that is possible to be the best I can
be the training, the testing, the commitment. The
team are pushing so hard and I think with this
joint effort and a little bit of good luck the results will come.
In your first MX1 season, in 2010 riding a Honda,
you were the surprise of the year with some speed
that put you near the front. So how does it feel
now, just one term later, to be mentioned as a title challenger?
Quite nice! For sure it is cool to see this
written in the magazines and hear my name
mentioned with those guys like Cairoli and
Desalle, I really like it, but honestly I am not
thinking about it too much. I think if you start
to build all that expectation on yourself then
you will just end up panicking, making mistakes
and crashing. For that reason I really am looking
at each Grand Prix as a ‘single event’ this year.
Motocross can be so unpredictable.
Tell us a bit about your preparation for 2012
I started physical training earlier for this
season, in December. Two weeks that month and
then another fortnight in January, every day,
very hard. There has been a real mix: gym work,
ski training and walking in the mountains for cardio.
Why did you start earlier?
I had had enough of a holiday! I had one month
free and together with the team we made the
decision to start in December. I was injured at
the end of 2010 so I had two months off and came
back in January with what felt like a huge belly!
I didn’t want that long break this time and it
helped I was fitter for all the tests and
programme we had planned. It felt much easier.
Which kind of training did you prefer? The walking, gym or skiing?
Skiing, oh yes! The walking was pretty good, but
the skiing was enjoyable. I can do it quite well
and had fewer crashes than the year before. I
went with Rui [Goncalves, team-mate] and on a
typical day we had to complete a track that meant
two-three hours of heavy work. Rui and I don’t
have too much technique so we were using a lot of
power to get up and down. It is a great workout,
but not as tiring as the gym where after a
session I feel like I want to eat and go straight to bed.
Then you went to Sardinia…
We were there a month, so a long time, we
alternated between training and resting and we
tested the suspension in the last week.
How do you feel about the new Showa SFF Air system?
, it is something you have to try! It is hard
to explain well, but it is like I don’t have any
pressure through my arms or shoulders. The
suspension absorbs so much; it is like a sponge.
It took a while to get used to and it felt a bit
stiff at the beginning, but I liked it right
away. You find the right pressure in the fork like a tyre and away you go.
The CRF450R this year is quite a special prototype. How does it feel?
Oh, great! We had the base bike in Japan last
October and that was already impressive. The
Japanese said to us ‘this is about 70% of the
final bike’ and we thought ‘wow!’. For me the
handling is noticeably better through the tight
and small corners. It is better balanced through
the new chassis and engine position. I prefer my
bike to feel higher and it is ideal.
So how has the work curve been to get it ready?
We did most of the basic set-up work when we were
in Japan so now it is just little steps or
improvements. For me personally I need to do the
races to feel the exact set-up because those
conditions are ideal for proper evaluation. I’m
happy with the bike, it handles really well, and
we just needed to get through the races to find
the final pieces of information.
The team did some great testing with you before
the German GP last year and you went out and won.
Will you be at a similar stage of readiness but
before the season begin this time?
Yes. Last year it was the beginning of the
project, if you like. A new team, new group we
started from zero. Now the system is in place and
we are ready to go much earlier this season. We
did a lot of good stuff in Sardinia and made some
progress. I’ve never had that depth of planning and preparation before.
Do you know what it takes to win an MX1 GP now?
I know I can beat them now. When I go to a race I
want to finish as high as I can. Your
possibilities on any particular day can depend on
the track and a few other things. You have to
know when you have reached your maximum potential
or place. I’ve learned that going over that limit
means you can risk everything.
2012 see you sharing the awning with Rui again.
Do you like him? Do you get on as team-mates?
Yeah, and this year I think better than before.
We didn’t know each other before 2011 and now
we’ve spent time training and talking. I feel
comfortable having him there in the team. We
don’t talk in much detail about set-up, not as I
would to my mechanic, but we chat.
After your neck injury in a Belgian Championship
event last summer how do you feel about non-GP races now?
Well I’m doing Dutch championship races and three
in Russia so I guess I feel OK about them! I
think I have only two free weekends once the
Grand Prix season starts and depending on how I
feel when they come around I might choose to keep
racing somewhere or have a break. I don’t feel
that the schedule is too much. I have all week to
recover from a race and do a single training or
riding session. Like I said racing is the best
form of training or preparation for me. It
motivates me more than just riding round and
round an empty track. There is a bit more risk,
but I also feel that I am more concentrated at a
race, with the start and the opposition and so
on. For sure I won’t be going crazy away from a
GP but you can get injured jogging along a road I
had a mechanic when I was racing 85cc and he
broke his leg coming down a step in his house!
How does it feel to be part of this massive HRC-backed effort?
At a time when many companies are looking to cut
back it seems Honda are pushing hard
Really good and I am very aware there is a big
group making all this happen. It feels like
anything can be done and that gives you confidence.
This year we go back to Russia for a Grand Prix
for the first time in ten years…
Cool! It’s really good. The track is far from
Moscow, but is great to be part of the world
championship again. I missed the meeting in 2002
and was only a spectator. I think it will be a
difficult race because I reckon a lot of people
will come and there will be a lot of attention.
I’ll need to keep concentrated, but at the same
time I don’t want anyone to have an opinion of me
like ‘he’s acting the big star’. It will be fun
but a different, and new, experience for me.