Mitch Evans wasn’t able to complete the first moto at round 14 of the FIM Motocross World Championship, as the repercussions from his nasty qualification race crash forced him to retire after 15 minutes.
Knowing that things would only get worse if he tried to line up in race two at the notorisly tough Lommel sand circuit in Belgium, the Australian decided to sit out the rest of the say and give his body some much-needed rest, in order to start the recovery so he can be ready for the next round in Sweden on August 6-7.
“Unfortunately, the after-effects from the crash yesterday were too much, and I had to pull off after about 15 minutes today,” Evans said. “I’d actually moved through the field well, coming from near the back of the pack to around 15th but it took all my energy to do that, and I didn’t have anything left to give. Rather than risk further injury on a very tough track, I decided not to line up for race two, and hope to heal up and get myself ready for the next round in Sweden in a couple of weeks. Thanks to all the support I received this weekend, it certainly hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned a lot and will continue to push hard for the rest of the season.”
The weekend wasn’t all bad news as there were strong signs during qualifying given that this was Evans’ first GP in Lommel, he showed that he can easily adapt to any condition, as he improved throughout the day and showed he is one of the best sand riders in the world.
A free practice time just under three seconds behind the leader was an inauspicious start, but he quickly made some changes and in timed practice, the gap to the leader was just 0.5 seconds in third place.
With a good gate-pick, he was able to follow team-mate Tim Gajser through into third place on lap one and despite not having any race experience at the venue, he was able to maintain a pace and looked comfortable in the process. As the race was coming to an end, a big crash on the big triple cost the Australian his third place, and by the time he remounted, he was right at the back of the field as he crossed for the chequered flag.