Features 25 Jan 2022

Fast Thoughts: Mitch Evans

Australian MXGP contender on recovery and preparation for 2022.

After an unfortunate last year that was ultimately a write-off in terms of lining up, Australia’s Mitch Evans has finally recovered after suffering the effects from a lingering wrist injury and the 23-year-old now enters 2022 as motivated as ever to show what he can do in the MXGP World Championship. In this Fast Thoughts, Team HRC’s young talent provides insight into his year off and preparations for the upcoming season.

Image: Supplied.

Things you have been up to recently…

I’m currently in the south-west of France. I’ve finally moved here, after almost two years of looking for a place. I’m pretty happy to be back in the area, after staying here when I joined the Team Honda 114 Motorsports team in 2019 – I’m setting up the house and just trying to get into a routine again. I’ve been riding and there are a lot of good tracks around here, a lot of physically demanding tracks, so I’ve been enjoying it a lot. It’s good to be back in Europe building a base for next year.

Challenges of missing a whole year of racing…

It’s been really difficult to miss a whole year of racing. 2021 hasn’t really happened for me, it has just been a blur and it’s been really difficult to sit out and watch. 13 months is by far the longest I’ve had off the bike and, even before that, I had a break of about four months, so it feels like it’s been a really long time since I raced. Thankfully though, you never forget how to ride a bike, you just lose the fitness and intensity, which has never taken me very long to get back, so I’m looking forward to that.

Training during your absence…

During the time-off, I was still able to train; cycling, running, rowing but after every surgery I wasn’t able to use my wrist for about six weeks in the gym but I was able to keep my legs, core and right-side of my body fit. I still have a big imbalance in muscle-mass as it’s been difficult to keep my left-side as strong but that is the goal now to get everything equal. I am glad I was able to do some things though as that helped get me through a lot of time in these 13 months.

Image: Supplied.

Plans for the 2022 pre-season…

My plans are to stay in France as long as I can to get ready here. Now that I’ve got my base set up here, I’ve got really good tracks, I’ve got a really program so I’m hoping to do most of my work here. I’ll go to Sardinia at some stage with the team, for testing and do the Italian championship races and then come back to France and finish off before the start of the season. I haven’t really looked at the calendar as at the moment, the important thing is taking it taking day by day and getting better each time I ride.

Aspirations for the upcoming MXGP championship…

In a perfect world, I’d hope to have achieved a couple of overall podiums and a couple of wins at the end of the year. Just being a top guy every weekend. If my wrist is pain-free, I know I can be that guy so it’s all going to come down to my wrist as the rest of my body is perfect. I’m in a better mental state than I have been in my life so I can’t wait to get started. I’d also like to thank the members of Team HRC for sticking with me and checking-in and seeing how I’m doing. It hasn’t been easy with this injury and travel and the global restrictions that have been in place so it was good to get their support throughout.