The European EMX250 series has been stacked with ambitious talent almost ready for Grand Prix action and the FIM feeder competition will count on a new face this weekend at Matterley Basin for the seventh round of eight and the MXGP Festival.
Among the hundreds of racers that will fill eleven categories at the mammoth circuit in Winchester will be highly rated American teenager Thomas Covington.
The 17 year old has travelled over to the UK with a set of suspension and will arm a Kawasaki KX250F inside the CLS Grand Prix crew – home to the likes of Tommy Searle and Alex Lupino – for his first competitive foray outside of the U.S.
“I wanted to get some experience around a Grand Prix and just check out what the scene was like,” the teenager who has been a hit in the AMA amateur ranks and won Daytona earlier this year voiced.
“People had good things to say about Matterley so it seemed like the right moment to come over. It’s my first time in Europe but all the people on the team have been looking after me really well and I’ve been out riding at some track around here, like Fatcat Motoparc.”
Naturally a switch from his base in California to the Midlands residence in England used by new team-mate Searle takes a while for acclimatisation and Covington has spent over a week getting to grips with the time variation and culture difference.
“Actually there’s not that much different,” he commented. “The accents obviously! And having to get used to being on the other side of the road but the food has been great and it’s been a decent experience.”
Covington will turn Pro for 2014 and fill a coveted slot in the prestigious Pro Circuit race team masterminded by Mitch Payton. For now he has lofty goals for Matterley Basin: “The European guys run just one moto so it will be interesting. I’d like to go back with a win and with the bike I have and the support around me I’m hoping for a good result.”