The Honda 114 Motorsports squad made the lengthy trip to the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, held at the fabulous Neuquen circuit, for the opening round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship. The newest recruits on the team, Mitchell Evans and Zachary Pichon, were fighting fit and raring to go, following a productive off-season under the watchful eye of Livia Lancelot.
Mitchell Evans impressed in the very first qualifying heat of the season, as he duked it out with experienced contenders and reached the chequered flag in sixth. Proving that result was not a flash in the pan, he hit a career milestone in the first of two points-paying MX2 encounters and slotted into the top five with a fifth. It was a step forward and one that really gave him an additional boost going into the final encounter, which would prove to be memorable.
Using all of the power within his CRF250R, Evans rocketed out of the gate and ran second through the first quarter of the race. After falling to third on lap five, he maintained that pace and position with ease as the race began to wind down. Third was the position that he eventually secured when the chequered flag flew, which gave him third overall and the first podium finish of his career. Third is also the position that he holds in the championship standings.Zachary Pichon also made huge steps forward in his career on race day at the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina and gained experience in what is his first year contesting the full FIM Motocross World Championship. The first race included a tight battle for points, but he just missed out by the smallest of margins. Improvements were made between motos and he was able to add two points to his tally in the final stint. That gave Pichon twentieth overall on the day.
The Honda 114 Motorsports squad will return to Europe, following a successful start to the new campaign, and turn their attention to the second round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship at Matterley Basin on March 24th.Livia Lancelot: “It looks like Argentina is a good destination for 114 Motorsports! I am of course really happy about the weekend. Mitch was struggling on Saturday, but he got better and better to finish on the podium. It is great for us after the work we have done this winter. Mitch is a hard worker and he deserves this podium! It is also good to prove that the podiums we did during our first year were not just luck! We are back this year with big expectations.
“Zach did good as well. The result does not show his real potential. He is missing time on the bike, but step-by-step he will improve. I believe he can be much better than this. I would like to say thanks Honda and all our partners who believe in us.
Mitchell Evans: “I didn’t know what to expect this weekend at all. I just wanted to learn and, if I got a top ten, I would have been happy. To land on the podium I am absolutely stoked. It has been great working with Team 114, so we are very happy. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are going to enjoy this for sure.”
Zachary Pichon: “Tough first race of the year! I ended up twenty-first and nineteenth. I was riding a bit nervous in first few laps of each race, but I am happy to go back home with some points. Thanks team and everyone for the support.”