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Privateer Profile: Ben Evans

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I first saw Ben Evans up in Canada at the Morden CMRC National, it was a super mudder (so muddy they cancelled the second motos, but that’s another story). He was wearing #235 and would go on to win after some others riders were docked for jumping on a yellow, but he showed some real speed. I left the track that day not sure about him, maybe he was just a “mudder.” I kept my eye on him as he nearly won the Canadian West MX2 title that summer and realized that he was pretty good everywhere. Ben went on to capture a Loretta Lynn’s title in 2007 and last summer finished second there behind the highly touted PJ Larsen. Ben’s looking for support for 2009 and we thought we’d give him the Privateer Profile this week.

  • Ben Evans got to run the #1 plate at Loretta's this year
Racer X: Ben, I understand you just got back from Europe and some Supercrosses there. How did those go for you?
Ben Evans: Yeah I did, Europe was great. I got a great opportunity to go because I’ve been riding with Cole Siebler here in Idaho and he has been going over to Germany for a few years now. There was a team called Meyer Honda and they needed a guy for the 250 class so he told them about me and it all worked out. They invited me over and I went with Cole and it was great.

I think it was the best thing I could’ve done as far as getting experience. The first race was in Zurich, Switzerland and I got second. It was fun, man they have laser shows, loud music and chicks dancing around over there. They put on a great show. The next one was in Stuttgart, Germany and I won the overall there, and the last one was in another city and I won that one also.

So the team pretty much thinks you’re the best rider ever right now right?
Yeah! They loved it and were surprised I was that good I think. It was cool and I want to thank them for all their help. They invited me back in January but that conflicts with the supercrosses so I can’t go.

What do you have lined up for 2009?
As of right now, I don’t have any ride right now. I think Solitaire is still interested and I’ve been talking to some teams. I’m in serious talks with a team that’s looking to do the West coast supercrosses, but nothing is totally finalized yet. 

You turned pro this year and raced the last few nationals? How were those for you?
Yeah, I wrapped up my amateur career at Loretta Lynn’s and got second there and then raced Millville and Steel City. It was tough, real good experience for me. At Millville I rode 450 and was running top twenty when I crashed with Vince Friese and our bikes caught on fire! That was crazy, second moto I got a good start and was running top ten, but pulled a muscle real bad and had to pull off. So it didn’t go good, but I learned a lot. I got a feel for the other riders speed and got to see what the tracks were like.

At Steel City I qualified fifteenth fastest and was feeling better. In the first moto, I was running top fifteen or so and had to throw my goggles away, I got a bunch of dirt in them. I ended up twentieth and scored a point, I was happy with that. Second moto, I was in a first turn crash and also slid out in the third or fourth lap and ended up twenty-first in that moto. I felt like I was going fast but the end results didn’t show it I guess.

  • After Loretta's, Ben raced Millville and Steel City
What was the biggest surprise for you once you hit the pro ranks?
I think the level of the competition, those guys are all fast. The tracks are great and I was in awe of them. Just big, fast and wide open, I loved it. Those two things were pretty surprising.

How old are you?
Nineteen.

The first time I saw you was up in Canada when you did the west coast series, and of course, I have to ask you about your time in the great white north.
It was awesome, a lot of fun. I just turned pro and we thought that we would go get some experience and thought that the west coast MX2 series was a good thing to do. We grabbed a 250F and full privateered it. We took our motorhome and my dad and brother were my mechanics. It was pretty cool, I came in under the radar and nobody knew who I was. I was in the unseeded practice and was throwing down some good times in there. The first one was a complete mud race and I came away with the win. It was great experience for me, the whole series was four rounds and I finished on the box every race. The championship came down to the last moto and I ended up beating Jimmy Nelson in the last moto but not by enough and he ended up taking the title. It was great racing, pretty wild for me. I met some Racer X Canada guys up there also and they were cool.

So what are your goals for 2009 Supercross?
I’ve been very fortunate that living up in Idaho where we’re kind of out of the scene a bit, I can ride a real deal supercross track. Cole has one and he lets me ride on it, that helps out a ton. Damon Bradshaw even came over and rode with us. He was helpful as well, and he was really nice. We were about the same level both of us, because we didn’t have much time on a SX track. We both had to learn the rhythm sections at the same time and he was great about riding with me, it wasn’t like he thought he was better or anything. He’s a funny guy with his accent and everything, always busting jokes also.

For next year I would like to think that I can be a top guy. I think I’ll have a ride with a good team and my goal is to get top eight. I’m looking forward to it, it’s my rookie season but I have confidence from my Germany races. I know the level of competition isn’t the same as here but I still feel good. I wasn’t that sure about SX when I started but now I love it, maybe even more than motocross. It’s pretty fun. I would like to thank Carl's Cycles, Fly racing, Rockwell watches and Ti Lube for all their help.If anyone wants to call me for some support in 2009, my number is 208-859-2629

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