Thomas Covington Interview
Thomas Covington has just raced the biggest youth race in America and now he is riding the biggest youth race in Europe!
Covington has been brought in by the CLS Pro Circuit Kawasaki team to challenge for EMX250 race wins against the top young European talents. It was a surprise move but one that has worked out well for the American so far.
Covington won his qualifying heat after a close battle with Switzerland’s 17 year old protégé, Jeremy Seewer. But more important than his results is the experience he is gaining by racing a different series and racing outside the USA.
We spoke with Covington to hear about his Lorretta’s adventure and just what has brought him to Matterley Basin in England to race in the EMX2 series.
You just raced raced Lorretta Lynns for the last time, how did it go?
I was riding really good at Lorrettas but had a few crashes so didn’t do so good overall and ended up with a fourth. It was good racing though battling with the guys I have grown up with my whole life like Matt Bisceglia. It was just unfortunate that those crashes happened.
There is a lot of hype in America on that race. Does that create a lot of pressure for you as a rider?
Lorreattas is my favourite race of the year just with how prestigious it is. It is definitely the biggest race of the year. Personally I love it there, there is pressure but it is all good and I like the atmosphere there. I am actually kind of sad I won’t be going back there anymore!
The weather seemed pretty changeable was that tough to deal with in regards bike set up?
Yeah at the beginning of the week it was dry then it seemed to rain for all my motos. But he bike set up was good Monster Kawasaki and team green did and awesome job with my bike, I had a Dunlop mud tyre on there and got some good starts.
Your rivals have scored points in the last two US Nationals, is that good for your confidence to know where you are already without a winters training behind you?
Yeah it was cool to see the guys I raced with the week before and see how they stacked up against the pro guys. It also gives me an idea about how much work I have to do.
Are you spending much time with the pro team at the minute or do you just do your own thing?
I hang out with the Pro Circuit guys quite a bit but on a regular basis it is just me and my trainer Johnny O’Mara going to the track every day.
Do you work very closely with him?
Yeah Johnny is my main guy. We go to the track every day and do our work so hopefully we will be ready to go for outdoors next year riding for Mitch.
And you aren’t riding supercross next year?
No I am waiting for the outdoor and then ride supercross the following year.
O’Mara has a lot of riders experience and also coaching experience with Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart that must give you a lot of confidence in him.
I couldn’t ask for anyone better than Johnny as a mentor. He has been through it all so it is really cool to have him in my corner.
So, how did you end up at the British GP?!
I always heard about the GPs and wondered what it was like and CLS gave me an opportunity to come here and race this event. I wanted to come over and race this event just for the experience and so far it has been going really well. I stayed at Tommy Searle’s house here in England so I like it.
How did you find the track yesterday? You had a good race holding off Seewer for the win.
Yeah the track is really fun. I love it, it’s a big wide track and lots of jumps. We had a really good race yesterday. I had a good start and got a little lead at the beginning and then I made a few mistakes because it is pretty slick out there. The second place guy was on my back wheel and I couldn’t shake him off he rode really well. It was a really close race, it was fun though.
Are you looking forward to tomorrow when everyone is in the one race, it’s almost like a supercross style final.
Yeah I am looking forward to tomorrow. Yesterday in qualifying we were all really close, a few tenths of a second separated all of us. It should be a fun race I just have to get off to a good start and run some good consistent laps.
Once you go pro in America are your thoughts to get a national or supercross title there and maybe come back here and try and win a world title for America?
The big goal is to try and win a title in the US and who knows, maybe one day come back over here and try and get a world title.
I just want to thank all the guys at CLS for helping me out and treating me so well here.
Interview by Jonathan McCready
Picture by Elliot Spencer