2001 American 125cc champion and GP winner Mike Brown will be making a return to Grand Prix motocross after signing a one year deal with the CAS Honda team. CAS are excited to have an experienced rider like Brown join the team and are looking forward to watching him race the World MX1 championship in 2007.
It was only 12 months ago that Brown lead the American 125cc series, and has lead the 125cc series in America (at one point or another) every year since his victory in 01. Brown also finished third in the 1999 and 2000 World 125cc championship, on both occasions getting into wars with Alessio Chiodi, Grant Langston and James Dobb.
A lack of good machinery this year and at the end of last year has seen his results slide, although Brown is sure he can come back and fight for the MX1 championship in 2007.
"I am really excited to be racing back in europe. I have always tried to do my best over here, and while I might have had some problems in the past that is now all behind me and I look forward to working with the CAS team. I rode the bike last week and it's a big difference from the bikes I am riding at the moment. The Honda 450 machine is so powerful and I felt comfortable on it straight away."
Brown knows that people will be looking at his age and wondering if he has anything left, although a quick look at his results from a year ago prove that he is very much still a competitor who gives 100% and never gives up.
"The team I am in at the moment have had their problems, and it's been difficult to go to the races knowing that the chances of running up front are not there. Last year I was leading the American 125cc championship and problems I would rather not talk about caused my results to slip. I know that I can still win races and I am sure with my dedication and my work ethic that I will be able to run with the top MX1 riders. I would love to finish my career in europe, at the moment I have a one year contract with CAS, but if I do well then I hope to be able to stay and end my career racing over here."
Brown will bring his family over for some time, enjoying the atmosphere of the Grand Prix scene, and he is sure to enjoy this trip as much as he did when he rode for the Rinaldi Yamaha team back in 1997, when he won the season opening Beaucaire International. Also in the Dave Thorpe Honda team in 1999 and 2000 he had great success.
Neil Prince the manager of the CAS Honda team is excited to have Brown riding for the team. Prince has long been a fan of Brown and tried to get him signed last year, although that never came about.
"Mike is a rider who will give you everything he has. We are sure that he won't give anything less than 100% and that is what this team expects from their riders. We work hard to give our riders what they need to win, and I am sure that Mike will fit into that well. If you look around the paddock there are riders who to me are not giving 100% and that will be Mikes advantage for sure. We took him to a practise track in Belgium last week and he impressed everyone in the team with his speed and preperation of the bike, we all knew straight away that we had to sign him."
Brown will return for the Motocross of Nations as a spectator and his new european career will begin in early 2007 when he will compete against the likes of Josh Coppins, Steve Ramon, Kevin Strijbos and Ken de Dycker. It's going to be nice to have an American rider back in the GPs and many will be watching Browns progress.