Max Nagl fights through the pack for sixth overall in Portugal

Photo: Hondaproracing
Photo: Hondaproracing
Photo: Hondaproracing

Honda World Motocross rider Max Nagl stepped up his passing performance by demonstrating some good overtaking manoeuvres on a technically tough track in both motos for a 4-6 finish and sixth overall today at round six of the MX1 World Championship in Agueda, Portugal.

In the opening moto Nagl got off to a decent start and made some moves in the first lap to settle into fifth position. The Honda racer kept a strong rhythm and hunted down Jeremy van Horebeek in the second part of the race to take fourth position with a good pass, in which he remained until the chequered flag.

As a lot of water had been put down before the start of the day, the track had baked into a really tough, rutty challenge by the afternoon. Nagl got a good jump off the gate, but had to shut off into the first turn, as he and Tommy Searle tangled down the start straight. Nagl came out in just 14th position, but the Honda pilot demonstrated some strong passing manoeuvres, something he was determined to improve after struggling to make passes last time out in Bulgaria, and was up-to an impressive eighth by the end of the second lap.

Nagl caught Searle but was unable to make a pass stick, as conditions made it difficult to go off the main racing line, but the 25-year-old German re-grouped and later on caught David Philippaerts, who was seventh by mid-moto. Philippaerts was pushing incredibly hard, and Nagl had to push the limit while making creative lines to get by the fellow Honda racer, but he made the pass stick in the final third of the race. Nagl held off a hard chasing Philippaerts to the chequered flag to take a well earned seventh and sixth overall aboard his Dunlop-shod factory CRF450R.

Evgeny Bobryshev decided to sit out of proceedings, as he was suffering from the effects of yesterday’s qualifying crash as well as his fractured leg that was sustained in training some weeks ago. The Russian racer’s fibula is healing well, but with conditions being incredibly tough today and deep ruts cut into many areas of the circuit, Bobryshev made the decision with the team to wait until he is stronger for a more timely comeback, which should be in Brazil in two weeks’ time.

Max Nagl #12: 7th overall
“In the first heat I had a really good start. I had a battle with van Horebeek and some other riders, which I could pass, and I finished fourth so I was really happy with that race. I was a bit tired, but not destroyed and I had a good recovery between the races. In the second moto I started quite well, but Tommy was on the right of me on the gate and his start was just a little better than mine. He wheelied, and we got stuck with my handlebar and his elbow, so I had to shut the throttle, otherwise we would have had a big crash. I braked early and turned inside, but I was only 14th, so there was a lot of work to do. In the first few laps I was really aggressive, and I’ve never passed so many riders in such a short time. I was pumped with that and with my riding, especially as they were fast riders I was getting by. I was following Philippaerts for some laps and he was pushing really hard. He made a mistake, so I passed him, but I was really tired. I had to just survive to the end, as there was too much of a gap to catch anyone, but from behind they were still pushing. The track was really gnarly with so many bumps, and it was incredibly difficult. From Bulgaria I’m pleased we could make an improvement; we changed my training programme to improve the speed and explosive aggression, which has worked. We need to continue in this way and do some long motos for the physical condition, but we are going in a good direction. We had some new engine parts this weekend from the factory and a new Termignoni exhaust, which has given us some more torque and made the bike even better, so everything is going in a good direction.”

Evgeny Bobryshev # 777: DNS
“I was trying to ride yesterday and today, but I had a big crash in qualifying. I tried again in warm-up this morning, with the hope I would be okay, but there was quite a lot of pain. The track was so rough with deep lines, and it was a big risk for me to continue. We decided to stop, as I don’t want to make the injury worse and continue racing week-by-week with injury. For me it’s more important to come back stronger and be able to fight at the front, rather than riding at 30% just trying to get one point while risking making things worse. Brazil is an important race for Honda, and the goal is to go there. I’m going to be working as hard as I can to be able to come back strong for that race.”

Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“We had a very good weekend with Max. He was strong throughout Saturday and today we saw more of a fighting performance, which was the main goal he needed to improve. He had a good fight with some riders in the first race, and in the second heat he was struggling a bit with a bad start, but we saw a huge improvement with his confidence and riding style. We’ve made further improvements with the bike, and the package is good, so we’re looking forward to improving the results with the pieces of the puzzle now coming together. It was tough for Bobby, as he tried to race, but it wasn’t possible and we made the decision together that it was more sensible to come back strong, than to fight for only small points and with a big risk here today.”