One of the biggest mysteries of the 2019 SX and now MX season has been the very underwhelming performance of Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Thomas Covington. After the American won two MX2 overall wins in the MXGP World Championship series last year and finished the season inside the top five in the points, we expected SX to take some time to get acclimated to, but we definitely expected a lot more than what we have seen over the first three rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Okay, underwhelming is probably an understatement. It’s been horrible.
Over the first three rounds of the outdoor series, Tommy has scored top twenty points in just one of the first six motos and he has looked nothing like the rider we saw in Europe. Well, today Thomas made an announcement that may explain what is going on—at least to some extent. “Sorry I’ve been silent to everyone as to what’s been going on the last few weeks, “Thomas said from his @bigairtom Instagram account today. “After seeing the doctor and having tests done this week, I’ve been diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus. I’ve been super tired and lacking strength for around a month now and really hit a wall last weekend in Colorado. That’s when I knew something had to be wrong. Doing everything I can now to be back to myself as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone’s continued support and a huge thank you to @rockstarhusky for helping me through this.”
Thomas was not specific about the time he will be away from the series, but the Epstein-Barr virus can be a gnarly illness to deal with that usually takes at least a few weeks of doing nothing to fully recover from. There’s been no press release from the Rockstar / Husqvarna team, but we expect that Thomas will be pulling out of the series to get well. I know Epstein-Barr can be gnarly and I do not want to be a keyboard doctor, but I thought the virus hurt the athletes’ stamina more than speed. With Thomas qualifying 22-19-20 in the first three rounds, it looks like it is wearing on him all the way around.
I hope Thomas recovering from Epstein-Barr fixes what we have seen in 2019 but it is hard to know for sure. This will definitely be an interesting story to follow. We will bring you more on this when we get a press release from the team.