Joining MXGP world champion Tim Gajser under the Team HRC awning next season will be Australian youngster Mitch Evans, who has just signed after an impressive rookie season racing the MX2 world championships.
For Gajser, he’ll be hoping for more of the same after finishing a season that saw him take nine out of a possible 18 overall victories.
This included a record-breaking seven in a row, which allowed him to win the title by a massive 202-point margin. He was victorious at the Belgian GP in the deep sands of Lommel, which showed just how much the Slovenian has improved in all aspects of his riding this year and he was also able to win his class at the Motocross of Nations and put in an extremely impressive fifth overall at the Monster Energy Cup against the best supercross riders in the world.
However now, he knows the hard work must continue as he looks to defend his crown in what will be an extremely competitive MXGP class in 2020.
Amongst those lining up with him on the start gate will be 20-year-old Evans, who steps up onto the Honda CRF450RW as his whirlwind career path takes him onto Team HRC.
Under the tutelage of Team Honda 114 Motorsports’ Livia Lancelot last year, Evans was able to get an MX2 podium on his very first outing at the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina which he then backed up with another podium at round six in Portugal, where he got first taste of leading the field. While injury meant he then missed almost a third of the season, he was still able to finish in 11th place in the championship, with only five riders having more podium placings.
For 2020 though, Evans will swap his Honda CRF250R for the title winning CRF450RW as he steps up into the MXGP class, joining gold medallist Gajser under the Team HRC awning.
While Evans doesn’t turn 21 until November 10, he is experienced on 450cc machines, having ridden them in Australia in 2018, where he finished runner-up in the MX1 class in what was his rookie campaign.
It was this result, coupled with his excellent showing on a 450 at the 2018 Motocross of Nations in RedBud, USA that convinced Honda to sign him to the world championships last year.
After a year learning the ropes and seeing how the MXGP series operates, Evans will begin his preparation on a 450cc machine that many experts believe he is truly suited to. Once the EICMA show is completed, he will move full-time to Milan to work with the team over the winter to get him prepared for the season ahead, which begins with the MXGP of Great Britain on March 1, 2020.
“It is just amazing to signing for Team HRC,” said Evans.
“The history that this brand has with all the great riders who have ridden Honda’s and to now be a part of that, it is unbelievable. This is something that you grow up dreaming about when you first swing your leg over a dirt bike, to be under the HRC awning riding a full-factory CRF450RW. I really can’t wait to get started and I am really looking forward to showing people what I can do in the MXGP class.
“I know it won’t be easy because there are a lot of talented people in the class but I’ve got the best possible team-mate with Tim, because he’s the world champion and he knows exactly how to go about things. I hope to learn a lot from him and from the team and use all of that to put in my best performances when the season starts. Now though, it’s time to knuckle down and put in work so that I can come out swinging in round one.”
© Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here