2018 Bennetts British Superbike runner up, Jake Dixon, makes his full Moto2 World Championship debut this weekend in Qatar.
The British rider will take to the track with his new Ángel Nieto Team and hope to secure a solid start to the season. Before all the action kicked off under the floodlights, we caught five minutes with the man himself earlier today.
It's been a long winter, but we're finally back racing this weekend. How has pre-season testing gone for you?
“Testing has been different for sure. I have had to learn a new bike, understand new tyres, chassis and a whole different scenario with the way the bike works. Overall though it’s been really positive, I have been able to have over thirteen days on track, which is a real big help coming into the first round. However, we still have lots to work on with the bike and my riding style.”
What are your expectations for the season ahead?
“I haven’t really got any expectations. As the season goes on I want to close the gap to the winners finishing time, but at the minute I think we still need to work on my feeling with the bike and the way that everything is working around me when I’m on the bike.”
What's it like riding under the lights in Qatar?
“Qatar is a fantastic circuit! We had three test days here in preseason and I love the track. It’s awesome riding at night, it’s something so different being out in the desert and riding your motorbike.”
How are you finding your new team?
“The team have been great. Obviously they all speak fairly good English, better than what my Spanish and Italian is. They’re a great bunch of guys with many world titles behind them and they’re definitely going to nurture me into hopefully being a winning package in the future.”
Is it difficult learning all the new MotoGP tracks?
“It’s not so difficult. It’s a lot easier when the bike works because you’re able to put the bike where you want to on the track. But at the minute, because we’re looking for the ideal set-up, it’s a little bit more difficult to find the right lines. Obviously following the best riders in the world is helping me learn them a lot quicker though.”
How have you changed you riding style from Bennetts BSB to suit Moto2?
“First of all I have to carry more corner speed. With the superbike you got into the corner, stopped the bike and then fired it out. With Moto2 you have a lot more grip because the way the chassis is set-up and the way the tyres work. I’m also finding that I’m having to use a lot more rear brake and needing to hang off of the bike more than I am used to.”
Finally, do you have a message for all your Bennetts BSB fans?
“I hope all the BSB fans are watching and aren’t missing me too much this year. They can still follow all my races this season on BTSport and I also plan on doing regular updates on the Bennetts social media pages.”
Don’t miss out on any of the action this weekend. We have the full race schedule and TV times available for you here.