News 13 Mar 2023

Thumb injury rules Evans out of MXGP season-opener

Kawasaki Racing Team debut cut short following Saturday qualifying heat.

Image: Supplied.

A thumb injury ruled Australia’s Mitch Evans out of Sunday’s motos at the 2023 MXGP World Championship opener in Argentina, with the new Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) signing opting to focus on a full recovery.

Evans sustained the injury prior to round one, but the factory KX450 rider pushed through to set the 12th fastest lap in timed practice, before Saturday’s qualifying race saw him 17th.

Following warm-up on Sunday, the decision was made between Evans and the Kawasaki Racing Team that he would take no further part in the first round of the season, with an expected recovery time not yet specified.

“Mitch Evans and KRT management decided after morning warm-up that it was better for the Australian to sit out racing rather than risk delaying further his complete recovery from an early-season thumb injury,” a statement from Kawasaki Racing Team read.

KRT team manager Antti Pyrhonen added: “We knew that it would be difficult for Mitch even before we came here, but we gave it a try. His performance in timed training was reasonable with 12th-fastest time, but the pain from his thumb injury was just too much for the intensity of racing on a rough track, so we decided not to risk it more this weekend.”

The next round of the 2023 MXGP World Championship is the MXGP of Sardegna, taking place on 25-26 March at Riola Sardo.