Jake Dixon rode the rollercoaster from his COTA podium to top the times on the Algarve in Friday’s Moto2 action.
Despite a soaking wet track for the majority of the day’s 90 minutes of Portimao free practice, the Brit bided his time, sitting out of FP1 before setting a 2’01.179 lap, the second fastest time of the day, on his Autosolar GasGas Aspar.
Still riding high from his Texas success, Dixon is confident he has the pace for Sunday’s - expected dry - 23-lap battle even if the rain doesn’t abate until race day.
“Obviously it was super good,” the 26-year-old said of his Austin celebrations. “I didn’t ride so great in the second half of the race, but I needed just to bring it back because me and the team have been working so hard to come to this. As you see in Indonesia, I crashed out of second so I was like, ‘God, I have to finish this one otherwise it’s three times of not finishing it.’ but third time lucky and all that!
“I think it’s just the start of great things to come because, honestly, I’m not just saying this because I ride for the team but my team are amazing.
“They give me the bike and as you see this year, I’m no different a rider than I was last year to this year or the year before that. It’s just, everything just comes together.”
The intermediate class got the brunt of the bad weather as preparations for the Portuguese GP got underway.
“Yes, it’s just atrocious, Dixon admitted during FP1. “I think I need a jet-ski not a motorbike! Today is meant to be the worst day of all of them so there won’t be too much risk taken today.
“The track was very unpredictable, slippery, but it was the same for everyone,” he continued this afternoon, despite running top of the standings until Marcel Schrötter demoted him in the closing minutes. “Our work today was to understand the conditions and to try to improve because tomorrow’s a little bit drier and hopefully it’ll be better.
“If we only had one dry session this weekend, I wouldn’t mind, because we have a very good package and we can fight to be in front.”