Lee Hardy Racing have today (Wednesday) announced that they have signed exciting young prospect Jake Dixon to contest the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship thus becoming the first rider and team to declare their plans for next season.
The decision comes with the team wanting to graduate to two riders for the 2017 season and see Dixon as a perfect fit to join the team. Having made a major impression since joining the team in mid-June, and despite only having competed in two BSB rounds thus far, the 20-year old has done more than enough, both on and off the track, to convince team owner Hardy that he has what it takes to succeed in the most competitive Superbike Championship in the world.
The Ashby resident has competed at both the Knockhill and Snetterton BSB rounds recently, taking a brilliant sixth place at the recent Snetterton round, despite never having ridden a Superbike until the official BSB test at Snetterton in June. Dixon has scored points in all three races he’s finished and Hardy immediately snapped the former British Supersport Championship race winner up for the remainder of the 2016 and 2017 season.
Today’s announcement is clear indication of the team’s faith and delight in the youngster whilst Hardy intends to run a two-man team in 2017 with current team member Alastair Seeley in the frame to fill the remaining seat.
Dixon said: “To be signed up for 2017 before we’ve even got to the half way stage of 2016 is a massive weight off my shoulders and will allow me to really focus on the job in hand. I have an amazing team around me and I feel we will only get stronger with each and every round. I would like to thank Lee, Briggs Equipment UK and the Royal Air Force for giving me this opportunity and I really can’t wait for the rest of this season nor 2017!”
Hardy said: “I’m delighted to have secured Jake’s signature for the 2017 season and it’s great for all concerned to have everything in place so soon. Since joining the team in June, he’s made a major impression with both the team and the sponsors with his pace on the track being excellent given his lack of Superbike experience. He’s scored points immediately and is beating riders who not only have more experience but have also won BSB races – that shows the potential he has and we wanted to get him signed for 2017 as soon as possible.”
“He’s an up and coming rider with a lot of raw talent and we believe he’s a future race winner in BSB and possibly beyond. It’s great to work with someone fresh and for Jake, he’s joining an established BSB team with a proven pedigree. Having the deal in place so early means there’s continuity for everyone and crucially for Jake, there’s no pressure on him to get results in the second half of 2016. He can ride freely for the rest of the season, concentrate on his riding and continue to learn the Superbike, safe in the knowledge 2017 is already taken care of.”
“2017 will be our third year with BMW, I am very pleased with the support we have received from the brand and looking forward to using their product again next year. Running a two-man team will be no small feat and I have enjoyed having two riders within the garage, it’s a great way to grow the team and now I feel the time is right to do so. Alastair is still strongly in the frame for continuing his seat within the team; he delivered my team its first ever Northwest 200 podium this year and I am looking forward to having a strong second half to the 2016 season.”
Picture: Tim Keeton - Impact Images Photography