Photo by: Andre Barbosa

American teenager Thomas Covington has signed with Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy to remain in Europe to contest the FIM World Motocross MX2 World Championship for the remainder of 2014 and 2015.

The 18-year-old native of Alabama had his first experience of motocross outside the USA when he raced the European MX2 British round in Matterley Basin last year. Having impressed everyone with his speed and style, he raced the opening three rounds of this year’s FIM MX2 World Championship with the Kawasaki Racing Team in order to prepare for his debut in the US Motocross Championship. On the podium in the second moto at the opening Grand Prix in Qatar, Thomas enjoyed this experience so much that he tried to find a solution to stay all season in Europe, and to race the remaining fifteen rounds of the World Championship. Thanks to all the parties involved, he has now signed a two year deal with Team CLS, and next weekend in Italy he will be teammate to Arnaud Tonus and Dylan Ferrandis in the MX2 class, while Alessandro Lupino will switch to the 450 Kawasaki CLS to finish the season in the MXGP class.

Steve Guttridge (Kawasaki Europe Race Planning Manager): “Thomas had been welcome into the Kawasaki Racing Team for the first few GPs as a taster and now really sees his future here. It’s great that together with the support of CLS, Kawasaki in the US, Monster Energy, Youthstream, Alessandro Lupino and Pro Circuit, we could offer him a ride for the rest of this season and next!”

Jean Jacques Luisetti (CLS team owner): “We are of course very pleased to welcome Thomas, who raced with us last year in England. There was an opportunity to sign him for 2014 and 2015, and we couldn’t miss it; with him and Dylan we’ll have two very talented kids with us next season, as Arnaud and Alessandro have to move to the MXGP class. We offered Alessandro the possibility to start next weekend riding a 450; it’s a good opportunity for him to show what he can do in this class and I’m sure that his smooth riding style will suit our 450 perfectly. Concerning Tommy Searle; he has never stopped training physically, and we expect to see him back in Holland or Spain; Thomas will be based with him in England, and when Tommy returns to racing we’ll have two riders in the MX1 class thanks to Kawasaki and all our partners.”

Thomas Covington: “I am so stoked to be on the Monster Energy CLS Kawasaki team! I know they have great bikes as Tonus and Ferrandis are sitting 1st and 3rd in the series. I’ve been on Kawasaki since I was 8 years old so it’s great to continue the relationship with Kawasaki and Monster Energy. It was like a dream to score a podium result in Qatar; for sure the next races were not as good but that didn’t affect my motivation. I’d like to thanks KRT who offered me a ride for the first few GPs, but now I’m impatient to be in Italy where I will race for the first time with the CLS Kawasaki.”

Mitch Covington: “”I am really proud of Thomas for deciding to stay and compete for a World Title for the next two years. Not many American riders with a Pro Circuit contract in hand would leave the comforts of home, but Thomas loves the thrill of the crowds around the world and knows he can go back home and do well with a good showing here for the next few years. The team and family over at KRT took great care of Thomas and that made the transition and the decision to stay a lot easier Kawasaki USA, Team Green and Pro Circuit have guided him all the way and we could not have asked for better partners on this long journey to get to this level. The other big help to get us here was Traxxas RC Cars; the owner Mike Jenkins has been a great friend to Thomas since his mini days and Thomas will always be a Traxxas guy. Thomas did not get here on his own – he had lots of help and guidance. Oh well, MXGP’s here we come!”

Thierry Chizat Suzzoni (Monster KRT Team owner): “It has been a pleasure to have Thomas with us, but the deal was to help him just for the first few GPs. As we are focused on the MXGP class it was not possible to keep him for all the season, and it’s great to see that he loves the GPs and will stay with Kawasaki.”