MotoGP: Jake Dixon to make premier class debut at Silverstone
Jake Dixon will make his MotoGP debut with Petronas Yamaha at the British Grand Prix later this month.
Dixon will take the spot currently occupied by Cal Crutchlow, who moves up to the Monster Energy Yamaha factory team following Maverick Vinales' dismissal. This means that there will be two British riders in the premier class at Silverstone.
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Crutchlow was the original replacement for Franco Morbidelli, who is still recovering from knee surgery. Dixon will therefore be on the 2019-spec Yamaha M1 machine. Dixon has been riding for the Petronas Sprinta Racing Moto2 squad since the beginning of 2020, securing a best result of fourth at Aragon.
"It’s been a lifelong goal to make it into the MotoGP class, so to get the opportunity to do it for one GP this year, on the bike that I always wanted to – the Yamaha YZR-M1 – and to do it at home is something really special,” Dixon said. “It is going to be very difficult but I’m looking forward to jumping on the big bike, even though it’s different, and it’s very exciting!
"I haven’t been able to sleep because I’ve just been thinking about it. It’s a dream come true. I’m going to give my all to do the best I can for the team, and I want to say a massive thank you to them for this opportunity. Also to Yamaha for believing in me as well. I don’t have any targets, I’m just aiming to enjoy it and gather all the experience I can. I just want to wish Franco a speedy recovery and that we can see him back at the track soon."
As things stand, Dixon's appearance at Silverstone will be a one-off, however he has been linked with a potential promotion to the MotoGP team in 2022. Petronas Moto3 rider Darryn Binder is also rumoured to be in with a shout of a big promotion to the premier class.
"This is a unique opportunity for Jake to show what he can do and explore his potential on a Yamaha YZR-M1," team principal Razlan Razali added. "We are not setting any particular targets regarding results; it is an opportunity for experience at his home GP, while Franco continues his recovery.
"This is a one-off opportunity, and we wanted one of our family of riders to have this chance aboard the MotoGP bike. As it is his home Grand Prix, it is a circuit that Jake knows well, and it will be great for the British fans to have another rider in the premier class. We also thank Cal for his contribution to the team during the past two GPs and we wish him all the best for next weekend."
The Sepang Racing Team have two seats available next season. Morbidelli will move to the factory team, whilst Valentino Rossi has announced his retirement. The team has also lost its title sponsor, with Petronas opting not to renew their contract.
An announcement regarding a Moto2 replacement for Dixon at Silverstone, alongside Xavi Vierge, will be made shortly.
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