Courtesy of Sharon Cox
MXLink Live speaks with Team Honda 114 Motorsport owner Livia Lancelot on what must be described as difficult 2020 MX2 season for her Team, riders and support network of Brand and sponsors. Having been crowned Women Motocross World Champion in 2008 and 2016, Livia took on board the opportunity to manage Team Honda 114 Motorsport MX2 riders presented by HRC Giacomo Garibaldi from 2018 onwards.
With strategy in place of developing young, talented Honda riders for future premier MXGP class, Livia along with Giacomo have consolidated feeder system utilizing Livia’s skills and experience from managing her own Team from 2014 onwards to recruiting talented and hard working young riders from Australia.
For sure, the path to Livia’s role to present day has been step by step process. At times, Livia felt pushed into making decisions that she was not ready for, and at times felt her hand had been dealt an opportunity that may not come around again any time soon.
Yet, there were other factors involved within the decision making process, thinking about what a Women MX Champion 2x does post career was daunting, managing Team Honda 114 Motorsport EMX 250 riders was within realm of comfort zone, but step up to over-seeing MX2 riders was new- bit scary, exciting at same time.
Speaking with Livia via Live Chat had many benefits. 3 stand out: 1- Livia is passionate about putting into practice hard work ethic gained from racing GP’s from 2009, from actioning all experience learnt through management of her own Team from 2014 and from being so honest in all endeavors- whether through communications with personnel, sharing personal and professional moments or acknowledging that trust is key to developing recipe for success.
Learning to recognize when next step is needed to be taken has been pivotal for Livia’s future career. Certainly, racing 2018 WMX season was the final race plan, though as Livia admits, Giacomo was persistent, even coming back twice to ask if she would take on his project of managing MX2 Team riders.
Agreement in place, ace was thrown down when signing of Hunter Lawrence was secured when Team Suzuki fell and Lawrence had signed with Geico Honda in the USA for 2019 season. With such hot name under Team Honda 114 Motorsport in debut year, Livia faced tough challenges. Switching to ‘boss’ role was new, management of time at GP’s and off track was demanding within constraints of budget, along with being everything to everyone – hard to do at any given time.
All of which panned out- Lawrence gained 2018 MX2 podiums, Australian Mitch Evans was signed for following year, who would then go onto sign with Team HRC for 2020. Livia then recruited 22 year old Nathan Crawford and 18 year old Bailey Malkiewicz from Australia for MX2 along with French teenager Axel Louis in EMX 250.
A mighty impressive opening in MXGP/MX2 seasons for the only female Team owner in Europe’s GP paddock. Not only achieving success by developing young talented riders to carve higher profile within World MX Championships but also giving once-in-a-life-time opportunities for riders down-under to race MXGP/MX2 season.
If 2020 has dealt disrupting blows to racing, Livia has what it takes to resume all that has been built to present day. Hard work for Livia didn’t start when Giacomo asked her to manage Honda’s MX2 riders. Nor did vision of standing along-side her Team’s rider/s on podium start by relying on talents of rider/s to achieve top results against 40 gate line-up of Europe’s best MX2 racers.
As has been the case since I first met Livia in 2016 at WMX Opening Round at Qatar, followed by watching celebrations of her winning WMX Title same year at Assen- Livia is true professional in her outlook on what she wants to achieve and her commitment to deliver results.
The winning combination of Team Honda 114 Motorsport and Giacomo Garibaldi has already proved successful through development of future premier MX riders in Europe and for USA. What the next step entails, will be down to Livia, and for certain, this amazing woman will have those bases covered as well.