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Garage Finds | Thomas Covington’s 2018 Race Jersey


Garage Finds | Thomas Covington’s 2018 Race Jersey

Presented by Throttle Syndicate

It’s amazing what will amass in your garage when you’ve been covering the sport for nearly three decades, and especially so when you’re forced to pack up your office into a dozen little boxes and relocate all of the treasures that have gathered on your walls. While trying to reorganize my garage last weekend, I realized that much of the memorabilia I’ve gathered has a cool back story that is well worth sharing. Thus was born our new weekly feature, Garage Finds…

For many United States race fans, the name Thomas Covington may not ring a bell. The young racer from Alabama enjoyed his share of success as an amateur, winning three championships at Loretta Lynn’s, but instead of going the Supercross route, he headed overseas to pursue a World Championship in the MX2 division of the MXGP series.

I was first introduced to Thomas in late 2013 by Johnny O’Mara, who was training him at the time in preparation for his pro debut. “This kid is the real deal,” said O’Show. “He’s gonna make some waves.” Of course, because Johnny is a personal hero of mine I made a serious mental note and waited to see Covington make his big debut in 2014. A member of the Kawasaki Team Green amateur program, Covington was said to have a spot on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad waiting for him, but in anticipation of his jump to the big leagues, he headed overseas to get a few gate drops under his belt with the French-based Kawasaki MX2 team. They were impressed with him, and Thomas liked the flavor of the GPs so much, that the teenager took a five-year detour on the World Championship circuit before making his American Supercross debut earlier this year in the Eastern Regional 250 Championship. While Covington was abroad, he earned several MX2 Grand Prix wins and was America’s great hope for another World Championship. I enjoyed watching him racing abroad, and kept track of him on Instagram and even Strava, when he’d log rides. “Man, there is like zero elevation here so I feel like a kook posting rides to Strava,” he told me once after I replied to a photo he posted of himself in a cycling jersey. When I pointed out that I knew he was wearing one of Johnny O’s team Baghouse jerseys by the National Champion stars and stripes on the sleeve, he replied, “Oh man! Is that bad that I am wearing this? Will people get mad?”

I was always super stoked to see Thomas at the few GPs I attended while he was abroad, and we caught up for interviews whenever he was back in town for either vacation or training. Like many, I was surprised to hear the news that he was returning to the United States in 2019 to take a spot on the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team. “The opportunity was too good to pass up,” he said. “I wish that I had been able to win a World Championship while I was over there, but when I got the call to return to America on a top-level team like this, it was impossible to pass up.”

I was one of the lucky ones to score a jersey from Big Air Tom from his last season on the GP circuit. “Yeah, they’re kind of a hot commodity now that everyone knows I’m leaving Europe,” he joked.

Unfortunately, Covington’s rookie Supercross season didn’t go as planned and he only completed a couple of rounds before being sidelined with injuries. Come next Saturday’s Hangtown MX National kickoff, though, and he’s healthy and ready to do some damage in his first season of professional racing in his home country. Keep your eyes out for the #112…I have a feeling he’s gonna make those waves Johnny O’ told me about, years ago…

Throttle Syndicate Bike Graphic of the Week

Fasthouse Yamaha

Price: $199.99

Throttle Syndicate is a new name in the motorcycle graphics game, but the company has been around for years and has amassed more Amateur National, Supercross, and National MX Championships to list. Long-time sponsors of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM teams, as well as Kawasaki Team Green and more, Throttle Syndicate is known for exceptional quality, perfect fit, and awesome designs.

Throttle Syndicate is the only graphics manufacturer that is officially licensed to create Fasthouse team bike kits, and they have versions of the kit for every make and model motorcycle. This particular bike belongs to Fasthouse’s resident vegan Jason “Fonzy” Fontes, and there’s a really good chance that it still looks as amazing now as it did when it was first photographed. How so? Two reasons: 1. Throttle Syndicate graphics are printed on the best materials and stand the test of time (unless there is a member of the Rich Taylor family riding the bike…), and 2. Fonzy rides dirt bikes about as often as he eats meat.

All jokes aside, the close proximity between the Throttle Syndicate and Fasthouse headquarters – and the great working relationship between the brands – ensure that they freshest FH designs will always be available at throttlesyndicate.com

We’ve relied on the Throttle Syndicate crew for years and have consistently been blown away by their products. Two thumbs up from Team SML. CLICK HERE to customize and order!

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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