Thomas Covington – paving the way
There can’t be too many people not happy for Thomas Covington following his unexpected but fully deserved MX2 GP victory in Mexico.
The likeable American could have stayed in his homeland and raced supercross and motocross for Pro-Circuit but Covington had broader horizons and wanted to see the world while he had the chance.
But to do that meant relocating to Holland, and racing the world championship, the toughest motocross series in the world. It was the more difficult and bravest choice, and one that many especially in America couldn’t understand as they have two great series’ on their doorstep.
But when Ryan Villopoto attempted the World Championship this season, it seemed to show America just how difficult the MXGP series was with all the different countries and variety of circuits. And as a consequence the largely under the radar Covington began to get more respect as the USA began to understand the difficulty of the road he had taken.
“For sure, it has opened up people’s eyes back home in the US to how strong these guys are,” admitted Covington in a recent interview with Gatedrop. “They’re the real deal, they are not messing around and go really fast, it’s good to see a lot of people in the US are seeing that now.”
And now, after a roller coaster two years adapting to the tracks, travel and living in a foreign country, Covington has reached the top of the mountain by winning his first GP in only his second season as a professional. He has proven himself to be the real deal too.
It makes all the hardships and sacrifices worthwhile. And shows to upcoming riders from around the world that with the right attitude, some hard work and application that they can be successful in the world championship.
Admittedly, Covington has struggled more on the slick circuits but has significantly improved his sand riding this year proving his determination to succeed in MXGP.
In that same interview with Gatedrop, Covington explained the difficulties of adapting to the European tracks but notice the positive attitude that has been pulling him through the tough times: ‘The European rounds get really gnarly because of all the different classes racing during the weekend and they don’t do so much track work in between moto’s so it’s super rough and gnarly. It’s something that I’m not really used to yet. In California, we don’t have too many rough tracks around there. It’s good though, its making me stronger and making me a better rider.’
Covington knows that riding on all these different tracks is making him a more well rounded rider and with the confidence that he can win now in the locker, next season could really be the year that Covington becomes the complete rider on all surfaces.
But before that Covington has his home GP at Glen Helen to enjoy. He knows the track well, and can’t wait to go for another podium or even a win and you can bet Covington also wants to shown his peers such as Savatgy, Nelson and Plessinger that he is on their level.
But regardless of how that race goes, Covington has already proven himself this season and maybe, just maybe, has re-opened the door for young Americans to be successful in GPs if they follow his blueprint and come in with an open mind and be prepared to learn.
It’s not easy to win a GP especially coming from America, where the style of racing and circuits are so different and the reality of GP racing isn’t overly exposed by the US media. But Thomas Covington has overcome all those obstacles, stuck at it and proved that where there is a will there is a way to be successful.
Covington is the first American winner in MX2 for six years since Zach Osborne triumphed in Turkey, putting into perspective just what a huge accomplished this is. And with Ryan Villopoto winning a GP in the premier class, amazingly it makes it the first time in since the 90s that two Americans have won a GP in the same year.
Let’s hope more have been inspired to race the world championship by seeing the US flag and National anthem being played at the top of the podium in 2015.