On another scorching weekend of action at the Sevlievo track in Bulgaria, Mathys Boisrame took the EMX250 championship with an impressive display under immense pressure. Team HRC’s Tim Gajser also returned to the podium after a couple of rounds absent while Hunter Lawrence made it a sweep across all three classes by putting his Honda 114 Motorsports on the podium in the MX2 class.
After missing out at the last two MXGP’s, Gajser showed speed all weekend long and deservedly finished second overall after going two-three. The CRF450RW rider showed he is at home on the hard-packed tracks and with his 42 points, regained fourth place in the championship. Unfortunately for hometown hero Petar Petrov, despite his best qualification race of the season he wasn’t able to turn that into his best results and while he did extend his points scoring streak, he would have loved to have done better in front of the supportive Bulgarian crowd.
In the MX2 class, Hunter Lawrence once again finished in third place overall after scoring his highest points tally of the season with five-two finishes. The Australian rider could have even finished a bit higher in the first race had he not made a couple of errors early on but in the second race it was good to see him close up on the first place rider and challenge for the lead. His Honda 114 Motorsports teammate Bas Vaessen also scored his best point’s total of the season as he finished 10th overall.
Even with these excellent results, the highlight of the day was Mathys Boisrame sealing the EMX250 championship in what was a thrilling second moto that went right down to the wire. Coming into the weekend, Mathys lead the series by just 18 points with another round still to come after this event. However a DNF for his closest competitor combined with his second place, meant that as they headed into the second moto, he just needed to score 10 points more than his rival. And that is exactly what he ended up doing. After pulling another holeshot on his CRF250R, Mathys was pressurised until the very last lap, holding onto the lead which gave him the win, the overall and the thoroughly deserved championship gold plate.
As it turned out, Apico Factory Racing rider Steven Clarke played an important part in helping Mathys wrap up the title a round early, because Clarke was the rider who passed Mathys’ rival and relegated him down to sixth place, giving him that 50 point buffer. For Clarke it ended up being a successful weekend too as he moved to within 16 points of third place in a championship.
While the EMX250 series takes a round off, the MXGP and MX2 riders head to a new facility in Turkey next weekend for the 18th round of the 2018 world motocross championships for what is very likely to be another hot race on a hard pack track.
Mathys Boisrame 172
Words cannot describe how I feel right now. This early title win came by surprise: I knew we had what it takes to win the championship but we expected it to be decided in Assen, not here at Sevlievo. I am over the moon and so is the team, I think they deserve a good part of the credit because they have been super supportive all along. This is a massive achievement for all of us and for the new CRF250R, which proved to be a winning bike at the first try! I would also like to thank Honda and all the sponsors because nothing of this would have been possible without them. The season isn’t over yet: I will do my best to finish it on a high at Assen and then race the MX2 class again in Imola!
Tim Gajser 243
I’m really happy to be back on the podium after a couple of GPs. I was feeling good today: we did some changes to the bike set-up during the weekend and it paid off today. We had two good starts and my riding was good, so I’m happy. Of course, we will have to work harder because there are still three Grand Prix left and we want to finish the season on a high note. I would like to thank the team as usual because they did a great job.
Bas Vaessen 98
My first moto went quite decent despite the fact I did have to start from the complete outside off the gate. I had to pass a lot of guys on the first lap but that went well and for the first 15 or 20 minutes I was riding well but then I made some mistakes and dropped the tempo a bit. In the second moto, I again was outside and this time I didn’t get quite so good a start. There was a lot of carnage out there and I wasn’t feeling too comfortable out there as the track was really tough.
Hunter Lawrence 96
Yes it was a good weekend although I am perhaps a little disappointed for how good I felt on the track. The first moto I messed it up all on my own, I came into Covington on the fourth corner and lost some positions there and then on the third lap I crashed a lost some more. I managed to get fifth, which was good enough to keep the podium alive. Then in the second moto, I wanted to get another good start but keep it on two wheels and I managed to do that and although I got a little bit lucky with Pauls Jonass crashing out, I still rode well to get into second place. I kept my head down and it took me a few laps to find my flow but I kept pushing and with my CRF250R working well, I closed right up to Jorge Prado, but I just couldn’t make a pass to cap off what would have been a great weekend. Back to back podiums is pretty cool as I haven’t done that before and I look forward to making it three in a row in Turkey.
Petar Petrov 152
It felt amazing to race at home, the spectators were great and I’m really grateful for support they showed. I was however a little bit disappointed with my performance today. Yesterday was good as I had my best Saturday qualification but today I just struggled with my bike setup and I couldn’t find my rhythm. The track got really hard-packed and I just couldn’t do well out there. I’m really disappointed but it is what it is and we just go onto the next one and try to make some improvements for that race.
Honda Europe Off-Road Manager
Absolutely delighted with Mathys Boisrame handling the pressure of his opportunity to win the EMX250 championship. He did it with style. He won the race, took all the pressure and won the overall so absolutely fantastic and together with the good riding from Steven Clarke, Honda are now leading the Manufacturers championship as well with one round to go. Really happy with the EMX class.
In MX2 we had another great ride from Hunter Lawrence and he challenged very heavily in the second moto to pass Prado and win the race. He finished second in the race and third place overall as his first race hampered by some mistakes and crashes but he totally redeemed himself in race two. Calvin Vlaanderen was unfortunately involved in a race one incident and injured himself and I really hope that Calvin recovers well from his injuries and gets back racing as quickly as possible.
In MXGP Tim Gajser has shown the might of the CRF450R by putting it at the front of some of the session and finishing second in race one and third in race two for third overall. This capped off a really good weekend for Honda and I’m really happy and looking forward to the next races where we will hopefully carry on with this moment.
Words: Honda Pro Racing
Pic: Shot by Bavo