This weekend the World Championship heads to Uddevalla, Sweden for Round 10 of what is developing into a very interesting season for all those aboard the CRF450R. It has been a busy few weeks and this weekend’s GP marks the third in as many weeks in what is a frantic part of the season before the summer break in July.
CAS Honda rider Evgeny Bobryshev will be looking to go one better than in Latvia, where he narrowly missed out on the overall podium, finishing in 4th position after a 2nd in the first moto and a 4th place finish in the second moto. The hard-charging Russian has positioned himself as top Honda rider in the last two Grand Prix Teutschenthal and Kegums and has acquired many admirers in recent weeks due to his exploits on track. Bobryshev affectionately known as ‘Bobby’ within the paddock has developed into a real threat for race wins in the second half of the season. He set the fastest lap of the weekend in MX1 in Latvia and led the first moto for nearly 30mins before eventually succumbing to Desalle’s challenge. An overall of 4th place last time out does not seem fair given how well the CAS man was riding, but it is tough at the top and you need to be on your game for every minute you are on track when you are up against guys like Antonio Cairoli and Clement Des alle. What is sure is that the rest of the field will now be looking out for ‘Bobby’ as he begins to show his full potential and push for wins in the coming motos.
Honda Racing MX Martin rider Jimmy Albertson will be looking to continue his new found vein of consistency in Sweden this weekend. A technical problem in the second moto in Latvia was an annoying disruption to what had been a positive weekend for the rookie American. ‘Albee’ was riding really well all weekend and showed good pace in every session. It was only during the 35min +2 lap motos that the lack of race fitness due to several injuries in the mid season – began to tell. He will now be looking to step up his training regime in the upcoming summer break and continue the push to become a regular resident of the top 10 in the remaining part of the season.
LS Motors Honda riders Tanel Leok and Davide Guarneri will both be looking to re-assert themselves on the Championship after plateauing in recent weeks. An overall finish of 8th and 9th respectively in Latvia is by no means a bad result but both LS riders have set high standards this season and have consistently showed that they have the potential to run top 5 at each GP and challenge for podiums and event race wins. A podium would be a great way sign-out for the summer break and it is definitely in reach for both if they can get all elements of the weekend to tie together.
CAS Honda rider Gareth Swanepoel has been put in the shade somewhat by his Russian team mate of late but the South African has been quietly going about his business and has begun to challenge for a regular top 10 slot. If he can iron out some inconsistencies in his recent performances then he may well begin to steal back some of the limelight from his impressive counterpart.
It promises to be another enthralling weekend’s competition at the hybrid technical Uddevalla track that combines loose sections with hard-pack. Check back in with us over the weekend for Qualifying and Race reports.
Tanel Leok, LS Motors Honda
It has been a busy week with my grandpa’s memorial race in Somerpalu, Estonia on Tuesday. But the races there are much shorter than at Grand Prix level so they have not taken too much out of me. I am looking to get back up the front in Sweden and hopefully I am past my recent run of bad luck and poor starts. I look forward to it.
Jimmy Albertson, Honda Racing MX Martin
I am looking forward to Sweden for sure. The tracks are way gnarlier over here and get a lot rougher than they do back home (USA). That is something I am getting used to and I am sure it will be the same in Uddevalla from what I have heard. I am also looking forward to the summer break after Sweden as well as I want to get testing and get some more time on the bike to try a few things out.
Davide Guarneri, LS Motors Honda
I have raced many times in Sweden and the track is really nice. I hope they have not modified it too much because the standard layout is good. It is usually slippery and my style is perhaps not best suited to slippery surfaces but we will see. I am hoping for good weather as this will allow a good race.