Mitch Evans not surprised at his 450 speed!
“Not at all.” responded a self-assured Mitchell Evans when asked by Lorenzo Resta if his second place in moto one right behind world champ and new teammate Tim Gajser surprised him in the opening international race of the year in the Sardinian sand.
“I’m on the best team there is,” continued the Australian as he explained the reasoning behind his confidence. “I have been able to ride with Tim (Gajser) on the new bike, I’ve always said the 450 suits me better and it’s good to prove it,” stated Evans calmly, before adding, “but there is a long way to go.”
It was a sign of his self-confidence and riding ability that Evans was able to ride with such speed and poise on the rough sand track. He may not have surprised himself but it certainly raised eyebrows and widened the eyes of the onlookers.
Evans of course took a podium in Argentina in MX2 in his first GP last year although found it hard to continue the form consistently during the long world championship season. Honda Europe manager, Gordon Crockard, said at the time that Evans, “rides with a lot of margin,” and that was evident again in Sardinia as Evans didn’t appear to be on edge in a calm first moto chasing the defending world champion. It was a very impressive performance from the young Australian.
A crash in turn two meant the day didn’t end how he wanted but Evans showed everyone his potential, even taking into consideration how early in the year it was and that Cairoli and Herlings weren’t racing. But for HRC Honda, it looks as if their choice to hire Evans could be an inspired one.