Mitch Evans Recovery Update
This interview was provided courtesy of the Honda HRC.
On March 31st, Team HRC’s Mitch Evans had surgery on his right-shoulder back in Brisbane, Australia where the Honda rider is now recuperating. The initial prognosis from the doctors was good and the belief was that he would make a full and quick recovery. We caught up with youngster, who placed third in his first ever MXGP race, just to see how things were progressing on his end.
Honda HRC: You had the surgery last week, what’s the situation right now with the shoulder and how are you coping with it all?
Mitch Evans: I’ve basically now just got to let the shoulder recover and let the cartilage glue back to the bone. I have these little exercises that the physio has given me, after seeing him in the studio yesterday for my one week check-up. He was really happy with my range of motion and I have double the range that anyone normally would one week after surgery so that’s a really positive sign. He gave me these exercises to do so I’ve been following that advice. I’m not in any pain so honestly, it doesn’t even feel like I’ve had surgery at all. I’ve also been keeping in contact with Team HRC’s physio Filippo and he’s really happy with the progress too so it’s all looking positive. I’m keeping it rested it, but doing these four different exercises four times a day and that’s the only time that I’m move it. They are pretty basic range of motion exercises and then nothing else.
What about the rest of your body, are you able to train and keep fit still?
I’m still able to cycle, but I’m not able to go running or anything like that. I’m allowed to do cycling and weights on any other part of my body just as long as am I’m not using my shoulder, so I started indoor cycling two days ago now and just slowly build back into it as I haven’t really done much since I dislocated shoulder. I just want to keep my base fitness and then once my shoulder starts feeling a lot better, I want to add some higher intensity workouts to try and replicate the bike time that I’m missing. At the moment its low intensity stuff, just to get the body moving again.
In terms of the schedule, are you working on the shoulder schedule or are you looking at the MXGP schedule and trying to recover for that?
For me, I’m just focusing on my shoulder and just by the timeline that my doctors and physio have laid out for me. I’m not really worrying about the MXGP calendar right now, as honestly, I don’t know when the next race is likely to be so it makes sense just to control what I can control. I hope though that by the time we do get back to racing, I’ll have spent time back on the bike already.
Is there a plan to come back from Australia or is it still up in the air?
I don’t think anyone really has an idea at the minute, so we’re just playing it day by day and seeing what the governments are saying. It’s going to come down to when we’re allowed out of the country, or even when I’m allowed back into other countries without any quarantine periods.
You’re at home most of the time now, have you found anything else to pass the time?
We’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles recently at home, 1,000-piece puzzles and they take a good amount of time. We’re onto our second one now so just trying to keep off the boredom that way. It’s like being a little kid again, playing board games at home and sitting around and not doing too much. It’s a difficult situation but I’m also looking at doing some studying at home, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m thinking of doing something like science and nutrition, something along those lines, which could help me with my career at the moment and also gets me ahead for after my racing career.
Any last words for your fans out there?
I think it is just important for everyone to follow their government’s guidelines during this difficult period. Obviously it’s easy for me to say this right now, but the FIM message of #RidersAtHome is an important one to follow because this time will come to an end, and then once it’s over, we can ride again without any problems. It’s important that people stay safe and just reduce unnecessary risk and personally, it’ll make the return to racing even sweeter when we get to do it.
Gautier Paulin Talks Isolation, MXGP, and MXoN
This interview was provided courtesy of the Yamaha Racing.
As we continue to cross days off of the 2020 calendar whilst patiently waiting for the world to defeat the virus that has caused a global pandemic, it is interesting to observe the way each individual is handling this unprecedented situation. For riders like Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Gautier Paulin, the confinement is not an issue.
“Personally, I am not completely away from my normal life,” the 30-year-old MXGP star said. “In wintertime, this is how it is for me. I don’t see anyone, I don’t go out, I don’t party, I don’t do anything except for eating and sleeping, family and training. So right now, the only difference is that I don’t see my family, I just facetime with them. I have everything I need to stay fit and in shape and to train in any situation whether that is inside or outside, even for things like if the weather is bad, I will train inside to prevent getting sick and things like that. I can still continue my full physical training, of course, I need to adapt everything because I am someone who loves to do sport outside as much as possible, and I have been this way since I was a kid but together with my trainer we have adapted the plan, but I am still training in the zone I want.”
Unlike most other motorsports, MXGP managed to complete two rounds of the 2020 series, much to the surprise of Paulin who is currently fifth in the championship standings.
“I saw this coming, not a big pandemic like this as no one could imagine this,” he said, “but before leaving to GP number one, I told my wife to just get everything we need for the baby in case of emergency because we are always travelling everywhere and in case we get stuck somewhere I wanted to be sure we have all the needs for the little one.”
"I was actually surprised to ride the first two GPs and even more when we were expecting to go to Argentina. After Valkenswaard, we had a meeting at 10:15 p.m. with all of the team members and it was at that point we all realized this was serious. I decided directly to stop riding for my own security and also for the security and safety of the mechanics.”
The coronavirus outbreak has certainly thrown a wrench in the works for many top athletes who have thoroughly planned their entire year based on the 20-round calendar that was supposed to run from late February through to the end of September, but despite being one of the most structured and meticulous athletes on the grid, Paulin is ready to adapt his regime.
“It will be a tough challenge because I started training really early last winter, but I will be okay,” he assured. “We cannot change anything we are dealing with it right now we just need to take it day by day because we don’t know what will happen from day to day, whether we are still locked inside or we can go out, or what. Obviously, the next GP is scheduled for Russia 7th of June. We still have two months, but who says that it will happen? So, I just continue to focus on myself and either way I will be in shape. This is what I have to do for my job, for my goal and actually I love to stay fit anyway, so actually I am making the most of this crazy situation.”
Infront Moto Racing, the promoters of the FIM Motocross World Championship, are continuously monitoring the situation and adjusting the calendar where possible. As it stands, 18 rounds still remain with the season stretching all the way to November. The new calendar now includes a never-before run of six Grands Prix in a row in July.
“We are now scheduled to race six GP’s in a row and eight in a really small timeframe,” Paulin said. “This has never happened before. How the team will handle it, especially with the season looking to end in Argentina or Indonesia or places like that, it’s going to be something really different.
“From the business side, it’s really a big deal. But for me, the most important thing is that all of my guys stay healthy, and that all of my family stays healthy. All of the sport and business stuff aside, I am only concentrating on the essential side to this and that is to have everyone safe and healthy. And then for the sports side, I am positive that it would be an advantage for me because I am fit, and I will prepare myself for it.”
The new calendar will also see the biggest and most spectacular motocross event of the year, the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, take place in the middle of the season.
“There are so many things we want to do, but we cannot with the problems that the virus has caused,” Paulin stressed. “Motocross of Nations in the middle of the season doesn’t make any sense to me. It has always been at the end of the season and the event is like a big gift to everyone who loves motocross. We celebrate the end of the season proving which nation has the best racers.”
A question mark also hovers over how quickly the riders will be able to get back up to speed once the world resumes and it is safe to ride again, but Paulin is confident he is ready to start again as soon as he is sure that everyone is safe.
“I have a bike that I love, so for me, getting back on the bike is no stress,” he boasted. “My bike is done, it is ready, I was already happy with it at the first rounds, this is already a big step. When we can ride again, I will concentrate fully on riding and not on testing or anything like this. How long it will take to be ready on the bike is hard to say because when you start riding there is many things that can happen that can mean we need more time. Things like blisters for example, or small injuries or getting sick. Right now, my biggest worry is what is going to happen if we have to go to Russia for the third round with the virus still being a big threat in the world. I am not worried about being ready to be back on the bike, I am ready. I have been off for more than a month, but I am charged with motivation because I know my bike is ready. My main concern is how to prevent getting sick when we start travelling and racing again because this is going to be like playing poker.”
On a positive note, Paulin and his wife Clementine welcomed their first-born child into the world in May last year and amidst all the drama at present, he feels a sense of calm and peace.
“I am so blessed for everything I have right now,” Paulin said. “All of my people and family are safe, and I am able to enjoy these moments watching my little one grow. It’s really nice. It is the best gift I have ever had, and I feel like it’s a new gift every day that I am incredibly thankful for.”