For the year ahead, Mitch Evans has big boots to fill. Hunter Lawrence has left the 114 Motorsports Honda team to start his live in America and the team have turned to another Aussie for the year ahead as Mitch Evans joins the team.
Evans spent the last year on a 450cc but will make the transition back to the 250cc to compete in the MX2 World Championship in 2019.
At the beginning of December, Evans made the big move from Australia to France and has been putting in the work ever since to get ready to take on the World Championship.
We caught up with Evans to get his thoughts on the year ahead and how he’s adapting to France.
Gatedrop: Was it a difficult decision to leave home and what you had going in Australia to come race the World Championship in 2019?
Mitch Evans: The decision to move to Europe to race the World Championship was not difficult at all, this is where I have always wanted to be.
Gatedrop: Hunter Lawrence and Jed Beaton are two Aussie’s with GP experience. Did you speak to them about what life is like in the GP paddock and what did they have to say? Did they give you any tips?
Mitch Evans: I have always kept in contact with Hunter and Jed; we’ve grown up racing one another so I have a fair idea of what life in the GP paddock is like. I also lived with Jed’s brother Ross for a few months last year and he also gave me valuable knowledge of what it’s like too.
Gatedrop: You’ve been racing a 450cc for a while now, how do you feel about making the move back to the 250cc for 2019?
Mitch Evans: With only having one year racing a 450cc in 2018, the change back to the 250cc has been an easy transition.
Gatedrop: You rode great for Australia at the Motocross Des Nations, can you talk me through that event? It must have been great to battle with guys like Ken Roczen!
Mitch Evans: Thank you. Saturday wasn’t so great, struggling with the bike setup. However, with the help of the Rocky Mountain Team, we were able to make some changes which helped for Sunday. On Sunday I felt great all day, managed two decent starts and enjoyed the racing. I thrived on the experience of racing with the World’s Elite riders and in front of a huge crowd. It was cool to race with guys I have grown up watching on TV and that I have a lot of respect for!
Gatedrop: I believe you’ve been in France since the start of December, how are you adapting to the move? I bet it’s different and much colder!
Mitch Evans: I have been here a month now and surprisingly have adapted quite well. I have never lived in weather quite like this before. I come from the North of Australia where it is currently summer and around 35 degrees. A cold winters day for us is 23 degrees, so you could say this is a crazy change for me but I am enjoying every moment of it.
Gatedrop: It’s obviously early days but so far how’s it been working with the new team?
Mitch Evans: The team has been great and super helpful with getting me set up with everything I need for my program to run smoothly. Everyone on the team is fun to be around which has made my transition to Europe really enjoyable!
Gatedrop: How have you been finding the Honda and the type of tracks you’ve been riding in France?
Mitch Evans: I have adapted to the Honda very well. As for the tracks, they are nothing like anything we have in Australia. I am loving the challenge of riding all the new and different tracks here.
Gatedrop: What are your expectations for the MX2 World Championship in 2019?
Mitch Evans: My goal for the 2019 season is to stay fit and healthy, learn as much as I can and enjoy the experience of competing around the World.
Gatedrop: Have you watched much MXGP/MX2 before – what tracks are you looking forward to the most and are there any riders you look up too?
Mitch Evans: I’ve always followed the GP Championship and I’m looking forward to riding on all the tracks that I have grown up watching on TV. I have a great respect for all the riders that compete in the GP Championship.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Mitch Evans: Honda Europe, Giacomo Gariboldi, Livia Lancelot, all the team at 114 Motorsports and Alpinestars.
Pic: 114 Motorsports Honda