North Queenslander clarifies multi-year deal in world championship.
Current MX Nationals number two Mitch Evans has revealed he will transfer to the MX2 World Championship in 2019 after securing a multi-year contract to realise his ambition of competing internationally.
Evans starred as a rookie in MX1 this season to finish runner-up behind US-bound Dean Ferris and a strong performance at the RedBud FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) firmly placed him on the grand prix radar.
The 20-year-old is yet to confirm which team he will ride for as of next year, however rumours at the weekend’s AUS-X Open have him linked to Team 114 Motorsports aboard Honda machinery in place of countryman Hunter Lawrence. It remains uncertain when an official announcement will be made.
Evans was absent from the final round of the Australian Supercross Championship in Sydney, understood to be as a result of his defection from Raceline for next year. While no animosity has been expressed by either party, the Queensland talent said he was grateful that Raceline released him from recently-signed 2019 commitments in order for him to land a European-based deal.
“I originally signed a contract to race here in Australia with Raceline next year – I signed the contract before MXoN,” Evans told MotoOnline.com.au. “And then after my results at MXoN, we received a phone call from a team in Europe and they put an offer to us. I didn’t want to knock that back.
“They asked for me to go over and do a test ride between Adelaide supercross and AUS-X Open, but when we asked the [Raceline] team if I was allowed to go they weren’t very happy. They said no for me to go for the test ride, so then I asked for a release from my contract for the 2019 season – not for this season, just for the 2019 season.
“Thankfully they came through with the release and I signed that, then I signed a contract to race MX2 in Europe for next year. We received a call before AUS-X Open that Raceline and KTM thought it was in their best interests that I didn’t race, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to race [in Sydney].
“It is what it is, I was just very thankful that they did let me out of the 2019 contract with no damages, so I am very thankful for that. I didn’t expect my results were good enough to spark any interest, but obviously it did and I’m just super-stoked to go and race against the best in the world.”
With Evans not slated to continue at Raceline despite initially signing a contract prior to MXoN to continue in 2019, it’s now unclear who will lead KTM Australia’s official assault in the new season as both Kirk Gibbs and Luke Clout have been widely tipped to be switching manufacturers.
Raceline owner John Tisdale – who allowed Evans to miss the opening supercross rounds this year in order to represent Australia at MXoN – confirmed that the team has now moved on to finalise its 2019 roster with an announcement pending, but hasn’t ruled out working with Evans again in the future.