‘I want to fight with Leon and Shakey ev­ery week’

He may only be 21 years old, but Jake Dixon came of age when he did the dou­ble at Knock­hill BSB and now he wants to push on

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - OLI RUSHBY BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

“I don’t do things by halves, I go big or go home,” Jake Dixon laughs when asked where Sun­day’s dou­ble vic­tory at Knock­hill came from. His in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment took the rac­ing world by storm, es­pe­cially given that prior to last week’s wins Dixon’s best re­sult in BSB had been a sixth place at Snet­ter­ton last year.

Since start­ing rac­ing at the rel­a­tively late age of 14 in 2010, Dixon, son of for­mer side­car World Cham­pion Dar­ren Dixon, has been quick wher­ever he’s rid­den, from the Aprilia Su­per­teens class to Na­tional Su­per­stock, Bri­tish Su­pers­port and he even showed pace as he made his de­but in the MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike class half­way through last sea­son, but a lack of con­sis­tency al­ways held him back from the big time.

‘Crash­ing is the story of my ca­reer’

“I started rac­ing in 2010 in the Aprilia Su­per­teens,” Dixon ex­plains. “I fin­ished third in the cham­pi­onship after win­ning a lot of races but also crashed a lot. That sort of be­came the story of my ca­reer, quick but crash­ing! It was al­ways a prob­lem for me, I sort of had to go away and think about it and I came back in 2015 with Smiths Triumph and started to dial it out. I still had too many crashes, but I was more con­sis­tent than I’d ever been.”

How­ever, the real change came when he stepped up to the Su­per­bike class mid-way through the 2016 sea­son with Lee Hardy’s Briggs Equip­ment/ RAF Re­serves BMW team. Out of the 13 races he started he only failed to fin­ish twice, and one of those DNFS was the non-fault crash that ruled him out of the re­main­der of the sea­son with a badly bro­ken hip.

“Since mov­ing up to su­per­bikes I’ve re­ally taken a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. I’ve had to treat the bike with so much more re­spect than I have any other bike and it’s re­ally pay­ing off. It’s just about hav­ing to grow up, that’s a big part of how you achieve re­sults in rac­ing. The sooner you can grow up the bet­ter the re­sults be­come.

“I’m not say­ing we don’t have a laugh, you know me! You’ve got to have char­ac­ter. There’s no point in be­ing some­body that’s bor­ing, plain and has noth­ing about them. I have a laugh with the boys when we’re at the track but when it’s time for the ses­sion to start we get our heads down and think about the job in hand.”

‘Cry­ing my eyes out’

Dixon’s de­but vic­to­ries are all the more re­mark­able when you re­alise the ex­tent of the injuries he sus­tained in a nasty crash at Oul­ton Park just last Septem­ber.

“I don’t think peo­ple re­alise how big my in­jury was,” Dixon says. “They told me there was a 50/50 chance of the ball in my hip dy­ing and if that hap­pened I’d have to have a hip re­place­ment. That would have ruled me out for the rest of this year and maybe be­yond. That hit me hard, I can’t tell you how much of a tough time it was.

“I was dev­as­tated, cry­ing my eyes out and think­ing that I’d never be able to come back from it. I’d bro­ken bones be­fore but noth­ing as big as that. I had to work 10 times harder over the win­ter to get back to where I needed to be this year. I’ve put a lot of hours in, I swam 200 lengths in six weeks when I wasn’t even meant to be do­ing any­thing. At the start of the sea­son my hip wasn’t 100%, maybe it’s still not now but we’re get­ting where we need to be.”

The ef­fects of Dixon’s in­jury are still ham­per­ing him to­day, his train­ing regime has to be de­signed around what he can and can’t do with his weaker hip and he’s still hav­ing physio twice a week.

“I still can’t lift heavy weights and do cer­tain types of train­ing, but it’s not even been a year since I had the surgery. They told me it would be a year-and-a-half un­til I was fully sorted so it’s good to be where we’re at now.”

No time to cel­e­brate

Most 21-year-olds would have a big blowout after achiev­ing some­thing as big as Dixon did last week­end, but he cel­e­brated with a five-hour drive back from Scot­land be­fore head­ing straight back to the gym with one thing on his mind.

“The night after win­ning I drove back with my fi­ancée Sarah and my Dad, we didn’t get back un­til 2am! I didn’t do too much t he next day but since then I ’ ve been back train­ing twice a day ev­ery day. The world doesn’t just stop be­cause I’ve won two races. The other rid­ers don’t stop train­ing and work­ing, I’ve got to keep go­ing. I want this to be the start of some­thing that can go on, so I need to be out there, train­ing as hard as I can to make this hap­pen again.

“I’m not very good at chill­ing out any­way. I only have one fo­cus and that’s to be­come World Cham­pion. If some­one said to me to do that I need to do 1000 push-ups a day I’d do 2000. I al­ways try to go the ex­tra mile.

“The clos­est thing I get to chill­ing out is when I go kart­ing, Sarah bought me my own kart for Christ­mas and I try to get out as of­ten as I can, but even when I’m do­ing that I’m push­ing on a bit as it keeps me sharp.”

For some­one who ad­mits im­ma­tu­rity may have held him back in the past, Dixon re­mains very level-headed about his chances for the rest of the year.

“The Show­down isn’t out of the ques­tion. We’re 12 points off the top six but we also have to be re­al­is­tic. Yes, I’ve had two wins and I’d like to think I can carry on do­ing that but the main thing is to be con­sis­tent and recog­nise that when the podium isn’t achiev­able we need to set­tle for the best re­sult we can get on the day rather than throw­ing it down the road.

“If we’re in that top six we can then fight for the cham­pi­onship. Th­ese boys are all hu­man, they’re con­sis­tent and have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence un­der their belts but I feel I’ve taken a big step for­ward and there’s no rea­son I can’t fight with the likes of Leon and Shakey.”

‘If I had to do 1000 push-ups a day to be world champ, I’d do 2000’ JAKE DIXON

‘If I can get in the top six, then I can fight for the ti­tle’ JAKE DIXON

Jake Dixon woke up on Mon­day, June 19 as a dou­ble BSB race-win­ner

Jake Dixon takes a bit of time out to see where he can im­prove

Dixon wants to be bat­tling Shakey and Haslam ev­ery week Jake with his fi­ancee Sarah Roberts, his two BSB tro­phies and his dog Dixon trains hard de­spite a se­ri­ous hip in­jury in 2016 that ended his sea­son early Thrash­ing his kart around is Dixon’s only real es­cape from mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing

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