2012 proved to be one of the toughest years yet for 25-year-old Evgeny Bobryshev, but having had some time away from the MX1 Grand Prix races and a lot of focus put into his training, the Russian star is looking forwards to getting back out there. We caught up with him to see how things are progressing ahead of his first 2013 outing in Mantova, Italy for the pre-season International.
Since the end of the season in September, did you go home to Russia and did you get some time out in December?
It wasn’t like normal years, as I stayed in Holland leading up to December with my partner Elena after the test in Japan. At the beginning of December we moved to Italy for physical training and I was working hard right up until 23rdDecember on that side of things. This was doing altitude training in the mountains, running and the gym. It was training twice a day, and it was hard for me. We were working with Dr Francesco Pacelli from the University of Padova, who stays with us some times in the season and Remo Longhin for the altitude training. They totally destroyed me; it was hard work, and I have been with these guys for a few years, so there’s some consistency with what we are doing, which means they know me and what we need to improve.
Then after Christmas how has the training been going? Where did you train and who with?
After Christmas I continued the training schedule and we celebrated New Year in Holland, before going back to Italy for more physical training, although this time it was a little less intense. We then went to Sardinia for riding to start this side of the training. I feel much better than the years before because I am more physically and mentally strong. I have been trying really hard with the physical training and I’ve never worked like this before, so I feel good about how things are going.
In the test held in Japan back in November, what was your initial impression of the CRF 450R 2013 race machine and where would you say you are in terms of set-up?
When we started on the bike for the first time it felt easy. We went to a heavy sand track and the feeling was immediately good. The handling and chassis are so good and this is really important in the race on the track. It’s better in the turns and it feels so nice that I have the confidence to put the bike in any place I want. It’s also easy to move around on the bike, so the initial feeling was good.
During the test we worked with every area possible on the bike and we found a good engine and gearbox set-up. For me that’s all I want at the moment, but now we heading towards the start of the season there’s some areas we are refining more with the suspension. To be honest it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of work to do because it is already good. I am already very happy, and I was really impressed when I put my leg over the bike for the first time.
How much did it help having such good support from Dunlop and Showa?
All of our partners work really closely to help us do a good job. We tested some tyres on different tracks in Japan, and we have continued the work since we arrived in Sardinia. We have a good compound for each type of ground; the bike is stable and we are trying to eliminate any washing out or loss of traction. The guys are working so hard and when we were in Japan they were non-stop with things to test, so for me it was an honour to work with such a great team, as they gave all what they have. They did a great job.
The first race of your season is in Mantova next weekend. What is your approach to this?
For me the weather has to be good, as in Mantova it is usually freezing or there is snow at this time of year. At the moment I just want to get to the race and see how things are after practice to decide whether I will push or not. It’s a first shakedown race, although I am a racer so I like to race and win, but this year it has to be a bit different. I learned a lot last year, so I have changed my mind and want to be more consistent. I need to make a good start in the Mantova event and ride my own race, which is what I’ve been training for.
How have you found working with Max (Nagl) for the first time?
I am really enjoying spending time with Max training and also socially. He is a good guy, and I have fun with him. At the moment we are not rivals so much while we are training, so things are good, but we are both very focussed on the goal. In the races things may be different, but from a personal point of view we get on well. It’s normal because we all work to our goal and he is working hard too, so I respect that.
Last year you had a lot of injuries, is everything healed now?
I wouldn’t say I am completely healed, as the thumb is still big and painful from Valkenswaard last year, but it’s not such a big hindrance riding the bike. I am pretty healthy.
How do you feel in yourself going into this year and will you do anything different?
At the moment I feel very good. I feel good physically and on the bike. Psychologically I feel more able than before, but the MX1 field is very strong. I am just really looking forward to giving good results and being consistent. The season is long and you have to be strong race after race. I know I have a tendency to push so hard, but I will make my plans during the race and if I feel good I will push, but if I feel I can’t make the one position more then I try to accept it, to avoid as many crashes as before. Last year the bike was completely new with little information and we were testing a lot during the races, but I feel we are more prepared in 2013, so that should make me stronger from the start.
What do you think about the first race being at night in Qatar?
I am with my both hands up for this. It is too hot during the day and at night it is cooler, so for sure it’s something better to have it at night, because I don’t like the heat. I have never ridden under the lights, so the track will be different, but we have some things to prepare for this. I’m quite excited to go there, as I’ve not been there before.