Mixed Day For Honda World Motocross Team During Valkenswaard Qualifying

_Honda Racing MX1 News Release

The Honda World Motocross Team had a mixed opening day during round one of the FIM MX1 World Championship in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands as Evgeny Bobryshev, who enjoyed a first place in pre-qualifying after injuring himself in the opening practice, retired from the qualifying race after damaging his bike and Rui Gonçalves finished 10th ahead of tomorrow's Grand Prix races.

In the first practice of the day Bobryshev crashed heavily after hitting a kicker on one of the large jumps around the sandy Valkenswaard course and landed on his thumb after only five laps. The Russian racer went for medical checks as his hand swelled and while X-rays show that the thumb is thankfully not broken, Bobryshev has a severe compression injury, which is causing him pain.

However, Bobryshev then went on to set a stunning pace in pre-qualifying, which determines the gate pick for the qualifying race, some 1.479 seconds clear of second place after a handful of fast laps, with teammate Gonçalves finishing 12th while working on the set-up of his machine.

Both riders got a good start to the qualifying race with Bobryshev into second place and Gonçalves in fifth aboard their Dunlop-shod factory CRF 450R machines. Unfortunately Bobryshev hit a post, damaging the front header pipe on his bike, and was forced to retire at the end of lap one. Gonçalves was also unlucky, as he was caught up behind two riders tangling in a corner, which lost him time and he concluded lap one in 15th place. The Honda-pilot made a charge back to 11th position, and managed to pass Davide Guarneri for 10th in the closing stages of the race.

Tomorrow will be a challenge for Bobryshev with his painful hand injury, but both riders are looking forward to earning strong results for as many points as possible.

Rui Gonçalves #999: 10th
"In first practice I was just riding around to get a feel of the track, which isn't like other years as the ground is much more like a hardpack rather than the deep sand. We've made a lot of adjustments with the bike throughout all of the practices, which has made it better and better. I got a pretty good start in the qualifying race but on the first lap I got stuck as two guys tangled on a turn and crashed in front of me, so I lost a lot of time. I got back to 11th and couldn't find my rhythm, as I was behind one guy for a lot of laps, so I could only finish 10th. I was feeling good and the bike got better throughout each session, so we have some other little changes to make and I think tomorrow we'll be good to go."

Evgeny Bobryshev #777: DNF
"Today hasn't been the best start to the season, but we definitely have a good pace. The first practice didn't go so good as I crashed after five laps, and I have damaged my thumb. It swelled up quite badly, so I had to stop, which cost us a lot of time on the track. I went to the medical centre and they X-rayed it and checked for ligament damage; thankfully nothing is broken but I have a really bad compression injury and I have spent the rest of the day with ice on it. I took some painkillers, then in pre-qualifying I didn't make so many laps, but I had good speed with my flying lap, even though there were still some mistakes in it. In the qualifying race in the third corner I went off the track where the landing on one of the jumps was shorter than the take off. I jumped into a post and damaged the header pipe on my bike, so that was the end of the race for me. So, tomorrow is going to be tough, the hand is painful over the braking bumps, but we'll do the best job we can to get as many points as possible."

Paolo Martin: Honda World Motocross Team Owner
"Bobby was a little bit nervous in first practice, and had a crash, which was really not so good. I feel that although we are not putting pressure on him as a team, he has high expectations for his results and he is just settling into things, so he made some mistakes. In the race he went off-line and hit one of the plastic posts, which damaged the front header pipe on the bike, so he had to stop. Anyway, the race is tomorrow and although he doesn't have a good starting position, for sure the speed he has shown in pre-qualifying was strong, so this shouldn't be such a big problem. Rui got a good start to the qualifying race, but he got caught up on the first lap. Then he caught back up to (Davide) Guarneri but he didn't get past him quick enough, and finished 10th. I think Rui was maybe also a little bit nervous, but we look forward to starting again tomorrow for the race."

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