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MotoGP potential for Dixon in 'superb' Petronas line up

Jake Dixon may just have been feeling the pressure this morning as Petronas SRT launched its 2021 challenge on the Moto2 class in determined form.

Team Principal Razlan Razali and Team Director, Johan Stigefelt were quick to heap praise on the 25-year-old Brit with strong expectations for the coming season and even hinted at a premier class future - despite the late-season injury which curtailed his 2020 promise - putting Dixon front and centre of the Sepang team’s championship challenge.

Stigefelt quickly summed up the mood in the camp: “In Moto2, the rider line-up is superb. I’m very happy with everything seen from Xavi [Vierge] and Jake last year and looking forward to this season. They are two very different characters, but they’re both great to work with, especially as they push each other and the entire team.


“The potential is huge as we are strong in every class. Our targets are higher, but so is our potential. Moto2 is the only category where we haven’t enjoyed a podium or a win, so that’s one extra team challenge we have. We want to see both riders consistently challenging for podiums, with good race-craft. We really want to see a win and both riders in the top six. The dream is to get a win in every category on the same weekend; it’s a lot to ask, but it’s not impossible!”

Razali expanded on the expectations on Dixon’s shoulders, both for this season and going forward into 2022: “We’re expecting better results from Jake in Moto2 this year. Our prime objective is to challenge for the world championship, of course, which starts with scoring our first win in the class. Also, both Jake and Xavi have the potential to move up into the premier class in 2022, hence this being a year of reckoning for that.

“By mid-August we expect to have a good idea of our Moto3 and Moto2 plans for next year and we will be always looking at Malaysian riders in the junior world championship. For MotoGP we have one rider we know and love and one rider who is new to the team, but for both, performance will be a measure. We are not in a rush to determine our line-ups for the future, equally when our direction is clear we don’t intend to hesitate.”

Despite the pressure, the Derby resident remained calm and focused as he contemplated the year ahead, concentrating his efforts on his all-important recovery before striving for the debut win he knows is coming.

“My outlook is first of all to get back into the flow of things again after my crash at the end of last year. I’ll take in the first rounds to see where I’m at, and then slowly build back into it and definitely score race wins and podiums as they were on the cards towards the end of 2020.

“When I crashed in Valencia last year, there were three breaks in different areas of my wrist. The surgery was long and complex as a result, but so is the road to recovery. It also means my training looked very differently from before, and I initially had to focus on my lower half with my legs and core body before reintroducing my cycling and running. But I think the way I’ve adapted has been really good, and I can’t wait to get going.

“To improve in 2021 from 2020 is firstly not to crash and injure myself! I also want to be more consistent from early on, which is the biggest factor for me. If I can hit my form early, I’ll automatically be a lot better.”

Dixon’s Crew Chief, Damion Bailey, echoed his rider’s thoughts, concluding: “Obviously, we saw a big progression with Jake in the second half of last year where he scored his best finish of fourth position and led the French GP. Looking ahead into 2021, we’d like to start from where we left off, keep pushing for top six finishes and fight for podiums. Hopefully, Jake’s wrist injury rehabilitation over the winter went well – a lot greatly depends on that.”

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