It was announced last week that Jake Dixon will be racing the Petronas SRT Yamaha M1 for a second time, at the Aragon Grand Prix this weekend. The news comes after a fairly successful MotoGP debut at Silverstone last weekend. The 2018 BSB series runner-up (Dixon) rode the injured Franco Morbidelli’s bike at Silverstone, and he’ll be riding the same one at Aragon. And with Jake being promoted to MotoGP for another round, his Moto2 seat has been temporarily handed to John Mcphee. Yep, more musical chairs in the MotoGP paddock. Can Jake Dixon make the most of it? I think he can, and I think he will…
Jakes performance at Silverstone was impressive, there can be no denying that. He might have had a little spill, and might not have scored any points, but if you look at the progression of his lap times over the weekend, you’ve got to give the lad some credit. By warm-up on Sunday morning, he was well within 2 seconds of the pace. That’s within 2 seconds of seasoned MotoGP riders, on factory bikes. Bikes they’ve been riding all year. To jump on a second-rate MotoGP bike and be that close to the pace, the first time you ever ride it, takes some doing.
So I’m not surprised they’ve given Jake a second chance to shine on the MotoGP bike. Particularly when you consider the fact that he wasn’t able to really show his true potential in the race. There are rumours going round that Jake, as well as one or two other riders over the course of the weekend, were given dicky tyres. And I stress these are only rumours at the moment. Unfortunately for Jake, it sounds as though he got his dicky tyre during the race. If that’s the case, it’d be a little bit unfair if he wasn’t allowed another go on the big bike.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Aragon, where Jake will be making his second premier class appearance, has been a fairly strong circuit for him. Just last year he recorded his best ever Grand Prix finish; fourth in the Moto2 class.
So we know he knows his way around the place. We know he can handle a MotoGP bike. Let’s hope he can handle the pressure of being Valentino Rossi’s team mate for the second time. Because as well as it being an awesome opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike, it’s like being invited back for a second interview after a job application. There are still a few vacant MotoGP rides for the 2022 season, and if Jake can continue to impress he might find his name at the top of the list.
It’s really difficult to predict where Jake Dixon will finish at Aragon. But if you look at his form at Silverstone, and his Moto2 pace round Aragon, you’d have to say a points finish is on the cards. Is a top-ten being too ambitious?