With three USGP’s already under his belt, American racer Mitchell Harrison came to the fourth round of this year’s MX2 championship with some past experience on the Grand Prix scene. The new Bud Racing Kawasaki rider competed in two USGP’s in 2016 and one in 2017, and claimed top results with 3rd, 5th and 6thplaces overall. It is clear the former American amateur champion has potential and isn’t coming over to just be part of the show.
“The two USGP’s were amazing,” Harrison said. “The two-day format, you don’t do that in America and I am not the strongest time rider, so racing to qualify will help me out and you have more time to adapt to a track and I feel I can then adapt quickly. Those two USGPs, I mean, when I got on the podium at the GP, it was just as good as when I got on the podium in the AMA National.”
Being 21 years old Harrison could build on his new deal with Bud Racing, do a couple of years in MX2 and then find his future racing around the world. He knows it won’t be easy though and isn’t thinking he will just walk through the current MX2 riders.
“I had just turned 18 in 2016 and then I did that other USGP in 2017 at WW Ranch. I have raced a lot of people in the MX2 class now, like Jorge Prado, Thomas Kjer Olsen, a bunch of those guys, and they are fast.”
Something that made the transition a little easier was former MX2 GP winner Zach Osborne, who was team-mate to Harrison in 2018 under the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna tent.
“Yes, I did talk to Zach, I talked to him before I made my decision. I am still close friends with Zach, and he is so wise, and he helped me make my decision. He knows what has gone on and I had never been here. So, it was great to get advice and he helped me make this decision.”
As for last weekend around the very tough Trentino circuit in Italy, Harrison knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and looked at his first ever GP in Europe as a test run and won’t be looking at running up front just yet.
“I only had two days on the bike, so the first one no matter what I did, it was just like a test run. I had watched the track on video, and it didn’t look awful, it looks like a fun track to race on and I was excited. I gave my all, but I didn’t get the starts when it counted.”
So now, as Harrison joins his fellow American and old friend Darian Sanayei in the MX2 class, we the fans get to enjoy another top line rider in the 250 line-up and that is never a bad thing. Only time will tell if Harrison can run with the top MX2 riders, but for the time being, lets just enjoy the fact we have a former MX2 podium finisher returning to the toughest 250cc class in the world.Author: Geoff Meyer