One of the biggest shocks of the opening round of the MX2 class was a young Australian named Mitchell Evans. Evans making his MX2 debut, with Honda 114 Motorsports, claimed a podium spot and looked comfortable in doing so. Even after racing the 2016 and 2018 Motocross of Nations little could prepare Evans for the fast speeds and high tempo of the Grand Prix in Argentina. Funnily enough, it wasn’t so much the racing that caught him out, but actually climbing the podium on Sunday afternoon.
“Honesty I didn’t know what to expect (when climbing the podium),” Evans said. “I was more nervous standing on the podium than I was on the start line for the races. I remember racing MXoN in 2016 and I was on the line and the crowd was amping up the crowd and the same thing happened in Argentina. I remember saying to myself in 2016 that this is where I wanted to be, and for that to come true, three years later is amazing. I was speechless and tried to enjoy every moment of it.
Despite little International experience, the Aussie knew that MXGP was a place he wanted to be, and worked hard in Australia to make his goal happen. The MXoN held at the Maggiora circuit proved to be the right place to get his juices flowing for a move to Europe.
“In 2016, it was an eye opening, I was going to school at the time and had never raced a 30-minute race and I was not prepared. That moment made me put a plan together and three years later we achieved our goal and we are here. It is pretty cool that it came together.”
What is impressive about Evans that he gave up a chance to defend his Australian MX2 championship in 2018, so he could be picked in the Australian team for the MXoN event in America.
“1 big reason I moved to the MX1 class for 2018 in Australia, was so I could make the Australian team for the Motocross of Nations at Redbud. A lot of people doubted us going into the weekend, but we knew we had a solid team and I was stoked with my riding, it wasn’t the greatest, but I still put in some good results and battling with Ken Roczen in the second race was a huge confidence booster.”
And now, after a top three in Argentina, Evans is looking forward to heading back to Europe with circuits like Matterley Basin and Valkenswaard. Exciting times for the young Australian rider.
“I am looking forward to Matterley Basin, some big jumps there and I am looking forward to some deep ruts too. We have deep sand tracks in the Southwest of France, but everyone tells me it isn’t like Valkenswaard. I used to struggle in the sand and I worked on it last year and this pre-season. If we get good starts and I can run with the front boys, then I should be able to get better throughout the weekend.”
So be prepared world, this young kid from Cairns in Australia has now set his goals on a GP victory and a very consistent season in both Europe and around the world.
Photo Copyright: Bavo SwijgersAuthor: Geoff Meyer