Rui Gonçalves Honda CRF450R Team Honda Europe - Photo by Sarah Gutierrez, courtesy Honda Pro Racing
Race Report - MX1 GP Round 2 Valkenswaard, Netherlands (April 25, 2011)
a very solid showing in Sunday's qualifying race where Evgeny Bobryshev and Rui Gonçalves finished in 2nd and 3rd position respectively, race day was less kind to the determined Honda team. There are still some serious challenges ahead to gain those all important podium positions. - Ed
Rui Gonçalves shows his potential in Valkenswaard
Rui Gonçalves showed true potential in the sand of Valkenswaard and has proved that he has now developed a good feeling with the Honda CRF450R, having been adapting to riding 450cc machinery since his move to the Honda World Motocross Team at the end of 2010.
The first moto was marred with mistakes from both riders, which cost them the chance to fight for the top spots. Having got the holeshot, Bobryshev struggled to get into the groove early on and was past on the first lap by 3 riders. Team mate Gonçalves did not get a start and was caught up on the fringes of the top ten. As the moto developed, a mistake from Gonçalves saw him drop out of a promising 7th position as he was beginning to look threatening. Likewise, a stall from Bobryshev saw him drop from 6th to 10th, a position he was unable to better come race end.
A spirited charge from Gonçalves towards the end of the moto saw him catch and pass Honda counterpart Ken De Dycker for 6th position, and then move onto the back wheel of Clement Desalle. However, running out of laps he was not quite able to position for the pass, eventually finishing only 0.180 seconds behind.
The second moto saw Rui take the holeshot and move into a commanding lead for the early part of the moto. Philippaerts began to apply the pressure and put in a hard pass for the lead. The pass pushed Rui off line and with it he lost his momentum and rhythm. In the same lap he was passed by 2 riders, including eventual race winner and overall victor, Max Nagl, and was shuffled back to 5th in the coming laps as he regained his composure.
As his rhythm returned, Rui once again began to threaten, catching Frossard in front before the Frenchman made a mistake and promoted him to 4th, a position he would hold until the end. For Bobryshev it was a moto to forget as fatigue began to set in. He would finish in a slightly distant 7th. A good result but not what was targeted by the rapidly improving Russian.
The team leave Valkenswaard with 5th (Gonçalves) and 8th (Bobryshev) positions overall. Another solid weekend’s work, but the ambitious outfit have set their targets high and will be on the hunt for podiums in the U.S.
Evgeny Bobryshev Honda CRF450R Team Honda Europe - Photo courtesy Honda Pro Racing
Honda World Motocross:
“I am a bit disappointed with the final result because I felt I rode good. The first moto was tough coming from a not so good start but in the second I got the holeshot and was leading for many laps.
When Philippaerts put a pass on me it knocked me out of my rhythm for a few laps and I lost some positions.
I came back strong but it was this point in the race that was really important and cost me. 5th overall is good but I of course want to do better.”
Honda World Motocross:
“It was strange day to be honest and even though I have been training really hard it is different when you turn up on race day.
I think I may have peaked too soon and taken a bit too much out of myself in the Sunday. Things just didn’t really go my way but the season is long and I will be back stronger in the U.S. and for Brazil.
I know my speed is good and my conditioning is improving every time I get on the bike. I feel I will grow stronger and stronger throughout the season.”