Double podium for Dixon
Double podium for Dixon

Jake Dixon gave the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team plenty to cheer about at Thruxton at the weekend.

It was the venue for round seven of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship and he followed up his maiden pole position with two superb second and third place finishes in Sunday’s two races.

The 21-year old signalled his intentions for the weekend as early as Friday afternoon when he topped the second free practice session with a lap of 1m14.716s but he really shone in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying when a stunning lap of 1m14.052s, some eight tenths of a second inside the lap record, saw him claim his first ever BSB pole position.

It put him and the team in confident mood for Sunday’s two races as practice had shown they had good race pace too and the Dover born rider completed the first lap of the opening 18-lap race ahead of the chasing pack. He soon opened up a small gap over the rest of the field but that was taken away when the safety car came out for six laps. That meant the race became a straight fight over nine laps and he found himself pushed back to third by Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes. Try as he might he was unable to make any overtaking manoeuvres but third place was still an excellent result.

Starting the second race from the front row once more, this time third place, the race followed a similar pattern as he again led in the early stages. Although by half race distance he’d been pushed back to fourth, it was still close and Shane Byrne soon dropped back as he ran into tyre problems. That promoted Jake back up the order to third and when race leader Brookes crashed out on the penultimate lap, he was back into second which is where he finished. With 36 points from the two races, Jake’s now in seventh overall and only 18 points adrift of the final Showdown position.

Speaking after the weekend, Dixon said: “I was obviously delighted with pole position and felt confident for the races but in the first one we were definitely hindered by the safety car. With the Kawasaki, you can’t let the tyres cool down too much but with six laps behind the safety car that’s exactly what happened. When we got going again, they’d cooled down a bit too much and my plan of getting away in the early stages was dashed although I was still pleased with third.”

“It felt really good to go one better in the second race and with 36 points from the weekend I’ve got to be happy. I tried to be strong again at the beginning of the race when the tyre was at its best but the others had that little bit extra towards the end whilst Josh’s crash obviously gifted me a place I wasn’t expecting. Peter rode a great race so hats off to him and a massive thanks to all the team who’ve worked so hard to get both me and the bike all ready for the weekend.”