This weekend’s MXGP of Spain at the classic Talavera de la Reina track marks the halfway point of the 2016 MXGP World Championship, and both Evgeny Bobryshev and Gautier Paulin are eager for the fight.

After missing five rounds through injury, Paulin is getting back into his racing stride and will be looking to build on his return in Italy two weeks ago. Whilst the weekend didn’t quite go to plan after getting caught up in a first corner crash in race one, Gautier showed that he’s lost none of his strength on the bike with a determined performance that impressed many after so long off the bike.

Now, with more time practicing on the CRF450RW since Arco di Trento and significantly more seat time under his belt now, he’s going to be faster and stronger still.

Evgeny Bobryshev was on the edge of the podium at the venue last year, and will be hoping to take another step as he chases third in the World Championship. The Russian has been strong in the last two races despite nursing a shoulder injury, but as that gives him fewer problems race-by-race, you wouldn’t bet against the Russian to continue the top-three run he started with race two in Germany, and continued with the second moto in Italy.

First used in 1994, the hard-pack Talavera de la Reina track made a return to the MXGP calendar in 2014 after a short hiatus. This weekend, the temperature is set to 24 degrees Celsius, with only a small chance of the odd shower into Saturday night.

Evgeny BobryshevEvgeny Bobryshev  777

“Since Trentino I’ve been on the bike and riding a bit but also taking it a little easy. I had quite a relaxing weekend, although I also did a 120km cycle competition in Eindhoven…! It was my first time doing something like this, and I was pretty sore after 80km but good fun! We’ve also been riding in France as the weather’s better there, and things are going well. My shoulder is so much better than even in Italy. It’s getting stronger, and now I’m able to ride without painkillers. It’s still missing a bit since before the crash, and it feels tired after an evening of riding, but I’m feeling a lot stronger. After Latvia there was a double hit because I missed time on the bike and also had the pain to manage, so now I’m able to spend more time on the bike and it’s much more easy for me to race and to manage the speed. Talavera is quite a tight track so it’s not always the best for racing, but I like the track and the ground so I hope we can continue to build upon the top-three finishes in the second motos in Germany and Italy.”

Gautier PaulinGautier Paulin  21

“It was good to be back racing in Italy and although the result wasn’t what we wanted with the crash, the speed is there. I’ve had a good two weeks of training, testing in Spain and also some Dunlop tyre testing, so I hope this weekend I can ride without pain and get back fully my race rhythm.”

Roger HarveyRoger Harvey

HRC General Manager – MXGP

“In Trentino Gautier got back to racing again after a while off and was in strong condition, so with a GP under his belt now he’ll be stronger still this weekend. Bobby’s also had more time for the shoulder to recover and is now closer to his condition at the start of the year, so in Spain we’ll see him back to nearer his normal self. He’s had some remarkable races since Latvia, but also two top-three finishes the last two times out so he’s a solid base to build on. I think we can expect good things from this weekend.”