Jonathan McCready: It was a bit of a shock to find out that Bobryshev was signing to race a full season of British motocross and not just the UK Arenacross series!
I had thought he would eventually land somewhere in the MXGP musical chairs game but, disappointingly, that has not happened. But it is to the benefit of the sport in the UK, with the increasingly prestigious UK Arenacros series providing the perfect exposure and prize money followed by the British championship and the MX Nationals all benefitting from having such a big name and a world class rider racing their championships.
It will be interesting to see how Bobby adapts to Arenacross against the indoor specialists from France. I saw him win in Belfast a few years ago, but the AX series is now a very specialised series that the French have owned in recent years, but Bobby has the size to bang bars and might just have the speed to get away with it!
Adapting from a factory team and MXGP back to British championship level and Suzuki UK may also be a challenge with the obvious budget differences but Bobby knows the series and should be a title contender, but with Searle, Nicholls and reigning champ Irwin all especially fast in the UK, it will be a challenge.
MXGP’s loss is British motocross’ gain and is a much needed shot in the arm for the sport in the UK in terms of exposure.
Andy McKinstry: “I heard around a month ago that Evgeny Bobryshev would be taking part in the Arenacross UK series next year. I wasn’t too surprised by that because he is most likely getting plenty of money to contest the series. However, what I didn’t know is that Bobby would be back to race the British Championship next year as he’s inked a deal with the Lombard Express Suzuki team.
It’s good news for the British series as the MX1 class wasn’t the most exciting this year. Graeme Irwin ran away with the title after injuries hit Jake Nicholls, Tommy Searle and Kristian Whatley. With those three back from injury and the welcome addition of Bobby, it should produce some great racing for the British fans in 2018.
How will Bobby do? He will certainly be right at the front and win races! The big Russian is no slouch, he ended up eleventh in the MXGP World Championship this year despite missing two rounds costing him a top ten in the standings. However, it’s going to be interesting to see how he will adapt to the Suzuki, going from the best equipment in regards to his HRC Honda team to the Lombard Express Suzuki team is a downgrade for the Russian without being disrespectful to the Suzuki team.
He will certainly win plenty of races but Tommy Searle should be able to keep him honest. Realistically I think it’s going to be between those two for the title and it should be close. As Bobby has rode the series before he will know the majority of the tracks so he won’t be at much of a disadvantage in that respect. Nicholls can certainly win races too and it’s going to be interesting to see how Irwin performs in 2018, he will be the dark horse as racing the GP’s week in week out might be all he needs.
As well as the British Championship, Bobby will also contest the MX National series and selected MXGP rounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a clause in his contract that if a GP team comes calling that he will be able to fill in – that’s what I would have requested if I was him! If that does happen though he will still be able to ride the British series for the Lombard Express Suzuki team as well with no dates clashing.
With racing the Arenacross UK series starting in January, it’s going to be a busy season for the Russian!”