Interview: Roger Harvey
It’s been quite the year for Honda. A world title in MX2, the first small bike title for Honda since Alex Puzar’s 125 championship win in 1995, and second and third in the main MXGP class shows just how much investment and improvement HRC have brought to the table.
HRC are now big players in motocross again and they are now seeing the rewards of their work. We caught up with the always friendly Roger Harvey to discuss an eventful season.
Gatedrop: Just a comment on the year from Honda’s perspective, it’s been really good, especially with winning a world title!
Roger Harvey: Yeah and we have the MXGP guys in the top three. In MX2 Tim kept it together. He still had a few problems, Thailand was a problem (heat exhaustion), Valkenswaard (crashes) was a problem and the UK (concussion and couldn’t race) was a problem! Ok he had a bit of luck (with Herlings injury) but for him to still win it was really nice, and the first world title for Honda in a number of years. The MX2 bike hadn’t the best reputation but it just shows with a bit of work you can make it competitive.
Then the other guys in MXGP, really pleased with them. Once again it was injuries involved but to be honest if you look at our previous three years it was us who were getting injuries, injuries, injuries. So this year we didn’t have injuries we had both riders going all year and it was ok.
Gatedrop: Bobby took a big step up this year, did JMB have a lot to do with that or was it just Bobryshev becoming more experienced?
Roger Harvey: JMB has helped a lot in the team but a lot of people said to me at the beginning of the year, ‘why are you keeping Bobryshev in the team?’ But we know what Bobby is capable of, we know he can be the fastest guy on the track, he just needs to keep away from injury and that’s what he did this year and it’s motivated him and he is really fired up to improve again next year.
Gatedrop: By the end of year he was arguably going faster than Gautier Paulin, was there any rivalry to manage there?
Roger Harvey: It looked like in Mexico there was a lot of rivalry! Yeah you never want your teammate to beat you, you know? It was big incentive for Bobby to beat GP and the same for GP to beat Bobby. But they were always fair with each other.
Gatedrop: Gautier Paulin got second overall but I would say he had a lot of 7 out of 10 performances not the 9 or 10 he has shown before, he obviously has another level he can go to?
Roger Harvey: Yeah he has got too, he has got too, and I think he can. He is very, very capable of it.
Gatedrop: Do you think it was a case of adapting to a different bike and team structure?
Roger Harvey: Yeah the team and the way everything is run is completely different to what he is used too. We just need to get him fired up and back in gear!