Jake secures valuable points for RAF Marham team
The RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team got their 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season up and running at Donington Park over the Easter weekend.
Although poor weather conditions threatened to ruin proceedings, Jake Dixon was able to score some valuable points with 11th and 12th place finishes.
After a fall early in the final practice session at Starkey’s, the team did a superb job to get Dixon back out on track.
Despite missing the majority of the session, the 22-year old qualified in 11th place for the first race of the season which was held later in the afternoon.
A slightly sluggish opening lap, later traced to a problem with the clutch, left him down in 17th place and with plenty of work to do.
But by lap four he was running inside the points having moved up to 14th.
Race conditions were again far from ideal but Dixon continued to chip away throughout the 18-lap race and was rewarded for his efforts with 11th at the chequered flag.
It meant he started Easter Monday’s race in tenth place and in the middle of the fourth grid where he was eager to improve upon the previous day’s result.
Heavy rain looked like the race may fall foul to the weather but the track was drying when the race got underway.
And by half-race distance, Dixon had moved forward well and was lying in sixth position.
However, trying hard to close in on the battle for fourth, he made a slight mistake and ran straight on at the Melbourne Loop and with only a handful of laps to go, he could only claim 12th.
Nine points from the two races could prove to be valuable come season’s end.
Dixon said: “Both of the results stemmed from the tip-off I had at Starkey’s in the third free practice session on Sunday morning and with only three laps in qualifying, I was playing catch-up from that moment on.
“I had a clutch issue in the first race which left me with no engine braking and back in 12th place whilst Monday was looking a lot better when I’d moved up into sixth place.
“It was difficult overtaking as it meant you had to go off line to do it and I ended up running straight on at the Melbourne Loop whilst chasing Danny Buchan and Shane Byrne.
“I got back up to 12th so whilst nine points from the two races is far from ideal, I’m in one piece and we can go again at Brands.”
Team-mate Jordan Weaving was also in action in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship where he was riding the Briggs Equipment Kawasak.
It was a busy opening round for the South African and eighth place in qualifying was a good start to proceedings prior to Easter Sunday’s two 15-lap races.
However, he was denied points when he crashed out at the Old Hairpin in the first race which meant he was unable to start the second and a lack of grip in Easter Monday’s race kept him down in 16th place.