He’s already beaten his team-mate Tim Gajser at the final round of the Italian championship but can Mitch Evans – in his newbie season in the MXGP class – make his presence felt on a 450?
“Obviously, after I got the call to join Team HRC it was a dream come true for me,” he said. “I’ve always grown up looking at the scene over here and HRC is one of the best rides you can have. I was a little bit speechless when it happened but I knew it was going to be a big challenge and I couldn’t wait to get started.
“I’ve done a lot of gym work to make sure I’m ready for the extra size and power of the 450 machine. I started a little bit earlier, which meant that I could go to Australia and I think that was important as it refreshed me a bit.”
Heading back to Australia is a big deal for Evans and he’s hoping to build on his time at home. “Last year I wasn’t able to go home and I felt a bit homesick so just those couple of weeks I think have made a big difference mentally and physically.
“I’ve tried to work smarter and not just harder but now I’m back working with the team to get everything ready for this season and it’s all going well.
“Having Tim as three-time world champion as my team-mate is pretty cool. To be on the same team that he did it on is awesome because they know how to win as well.
“I couldn’t have anyone better to learn from, so I’m looking forward to improving from him and he’s a great guy, we get along really well so I’ve really enjoyed my time riding with him.
“We have a bit of banter when we can but when we need to be serious, we are and it’s just a good dynamic between us both.”