Team HRC Just Off Podium in Frustrating Thailand MXGP

Team HRC’s pairing of Evgeny Bobryshev and Gautier Paulin endured a frustrating MXGP of Thailand, with Bobby just missing out on an overall podium by two points, and Gautier’s race two assault being derailed when his bike was hit on the opening lap.

As the temperature at the Suphanburi Motorsport Land venue soared to 37 degrees Celsius, with an oppressive humidity of 58 percent, there was a lot of Honda red at the front of the pack at the start of race one.

Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser on the HRC factory machine slotted into second, whilst Bobryshev and Paulin were embroiled in the pack and emerged in 8th and 14th respectively, but it was Japanese Kei Yamamoto on the CRF450R who took his first holeshot. The Team HRC duo faired well in the heat and fought through the pack valiantly, Bobby climbing to an eventual fourth and Gautier, who was the fastest man on track in the closing stages of the race, took the flag in seventh.

Race two was almost a reversal of positions with Bobby exiting turn one in tenth but Gautier sitting strongly in fourth. However, frustration came again for the Frenchman when Valentin Guillod’s bike got out of shape in front of him exiting the last corner, and as the rear snapped back into line it cleaned out the front wheel of his Honda CRF and put him on the ground.

A seventh place for Bobryshev meant that he missed the podium by just two points, finishing fourth overall in the Grand Prix, whilst Paulin recovered to ninth but was let ruing what could have been.

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser

Gajser on the Podium Again in ‘Toughest Race of the Year’

Tim Gajser showed again what he is made of today to score a second podium in as many races amid very difficult conditions in Thailand that reached 37 degrees Celsius and with 58 percent humidity.

Calling it the toughest race of the year, the Slovenian nevertheless continued to amaze on the CRF450RW since stepping up to the MXGP class just at the start of the year. With a third position in race one, he was shaping up to be right at the front again until his start was compromised in turn one, but never one to back down he fought back to an eventual fifth, securing second overall from the MXGP of Thailand.

Over in MX2, Jorge Zaragoza was also one of the fast starters today, very nearly getting the holeshot on the CRF250RW in race two. Emerging from turn one in third, the Spaniard ran in the top five for much of his first racing visit to Thailand, until ultimately the heat sapped his energy and he fell to eleventh at the finish.

After such a punishing Grand Prix, the paddock will face a very different challenge in the sands of Valkenswaard in three weeks, on March 28.

Evgeny Bobryshev
Evgeny Bobryshev
Evgeny Bobryshev
Evgeny Bobryshev

Honda Comments

Tim Gajser:
Race Result: 3rd, 5th 2nd Overall
“I think now the toughest race of the year is behind us and I’m really happy with our weekend. In the second moto I didn’t have the best start because Toni stalled in the corner in front of me and I almost hit his bike, but to come back to finish fifth was still good. I’m really pleased with a second podium and I want to thank all the guys on the team and at HRC because the bike is just amazing, and to my Dad because we worked so hard together over the winter and now all that work is paying off. It’s been a good weekend. Not quite like Qatar, but I was feeling good and happy on the bike. It’s another good result and two races and two podiums is a great way to start the season.”
Evgeny Bobryshev:
Race Result: 4th, 7th 4th Overall
“For me until now it was the hardest race. The weather and the track were both very tough. I couldn’t get well with the track and I was struggling in the corners and couldn’t flow my speed. The track was less rutted today than yesterday though, so the guys at the track and the organizers made a good job with the work they did overnight. The first race was ok and I stayed in fourth so I’m happy with that. But still I struggled a little and couldn’t push myself too hard. I had a bad start in the second race and had to come back from ninth but when I got behind Simpson I couldn’t push hard enough to pass him. Compared to one year ago when we were last in Thailand I am different though. I handle the heat better and changed my style a bit, working a lot over winter, and I think that people can see that too. It was a hot weekend for us, but also for my mechanics who had some heavy work this weekend so I’d like to thank them too for the great job they’re doing.”
Gautier Paulin:
Race Result: 7th, 9th 7th Overall
“This weekend hasn’t been easy because of the track and the heat, but that’s motocross and it’s what we love. In the second race I had a good start and I was improving every session on this track. At the end of the first lap Guillod had a big slide from left to right and once he got back the grip, his bike went straight into my front wheel and I couldn’t do anything – I just lost my bike and was ejected. I wasn’t his fault, it’s just racing. The scary thing was being on the floor and with the dust not being able to see what was coming. But after that we got back on the bike and did some good few laps, passing people like Antonio and Strijbos and pushing well to the end.

“Again we keep on working. It’s a long way until the end of the championship but I feel more and more that I’m in the rhythm. Just our two weekends so far something has happened to slow us down so it’s a little frustrating, but we just need to keep looking forward. If I was leading the moto I wouldn’t have a problem with other riders, so we just need to keep pushing. I’m putting in so much effort and so is the team, so things like this are frustrating, but I know where I’m at, I keep a good mind, and we move on to the next round.”

Jorge Zaragoza:
Race Result: 12th, 11th 14th Overall
“I had a really good start in the second race, and then riding almost all the moto in the top five which I’m happy with. But then at the end I was just so tired with the heat and conditions here. I’m also not always in that position so that made it even more hard. At the end I was so tired I got confused and I was thinking that the last lap was the finish but there was one lap more, so I lost from seventh to eleventh positions. Every race I’m improving so we hope to continue like this – the position we were running in today is where I want to finish.”
Roger Harvey: HRC General Manager – MXGP
“It’s been a frustrating weekend here in Thailand. Bobby was strong all weekend – he’s usually been weak in the heat but he turned it round this year with a very strong. He just missed the podium, but that’s how it is. Gautier was in the middle of everything all weekend, and just as he was making headway in the second race he was cleaned out and went down, so that’s also very frustrating. Tim delivered a great ride, especially considering the situation he was in one year ago in Thailand last time. Another podium and second in the championship isn’t half bad for a rookie!”
Giacomo Gariboldi: Team Principal
“We are really very happy with this weekend in MXGP because Tim managed the two races with a great maturity and when in the second race he nearly hit Cairoli when he stalled his bike in the first turn, it was really hard to come back. I think he rode without taking any risks, just focusing on finishing the race in a good position, so with that we can’t be happier really with another podium. Last year we had a bad GP here, and ok the heat is the same for everybody and you have to manage carefully, but Tim showed he has no problem with this and finished in good condition in both races.

“For Jorge, he had a very good start in the second race and managed to stay in the top five for most of the race, even fourth at one point, which was great. We knew that for him it was the first time he was racing in Thailand, and we knew that he could struggle a bit at the end of the race with the heat. Then he made also a little mistake in the last lap so he lost a few positions, but we saw him improving from the last race in Qatar and with more racing I think he should continue improve some more.”

Gautier Paulin
Gautier Paulin

2016 FIM MXGP / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 02: Suphan buri – Thailand

MXGP – Race 1 Result
Rank Rider (Machine)
1 Febvre, Romain(Yamaha)
2 Cairoli, Antonio(KTM)
3 Gajser, Tim(Honda)
4 Bobryshev, Evgeny(Honda)
5 Van Horebeek, Jeremy(Yamaha)
6 Searle, Tommy(Kawasaki)
7 Paulin, Gautier(Honda)
14 Lupino, Alessandro(Honda)
18 Yamamoto, Kei(Honda)
20 Penjan, Thanarat(Honda)
MXGP – Race 2 Result
Rank Rider (Machine)
1 Febvre, Romain(Yamaha)
2 Townley, Ben(Suzuki)
3 Nagl, Maximilian(Husqvarna)
4 Van Horebeek, Jeremy(Yamaha)
5 Gajser, Tim(Honda)
6 Simpson, Shaun(KTM)
7 Bobryshev, Evgeny(Honda)
9 Paulin, Gautier(Honda)
13 Lupino, Alessandro(Honda)
18 Yamamoto, Kei(Honda)
23 Penjan, Thanarat(Honda)
MX2 – Race 1 Result
Rank Rider (Machine)
1 Herlings, Jeffrey(KTM)
2 Tonkov, Aleksandr(Yamaha)
3 Seewer, Jeremy(Suzuki)
4 Paturel, Benoit(Yamaha)
5 Covington, Thomas(Husqvarna)
6 Petrov, Petar(Kawasaki)
12 Zaragoza, Jorge(Honda)
17 Graulus, Damon(Honda)
28 Jacobi, Henry(Honda)
MX2 – Race 2 Result
Rank Rider (Machine)
1 Herlings, Jeffrey(KTM)
2 Anstie, Max(Husqvarna)
3 Seewer, Jeremy(Suzuki)
4 Tonkov, Aleksandr(Yamaha)
5 Jonass, Pauls(KTM)
6 Paturel, Benoit(Yamaha)
11 Zaragoza, Jorge(Honda)
17 Graulus, Damon(Honda)
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