2014 MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier unveiled his number #1 plate on the factory CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki in a competitive environment for the first time at the Supercross Paris-Lille. The 22-year-old Frenchman will be the first rider to use the coveted number in Grand Prix since Tony Cairoli in 2006.
Tixier’s initial outing with his CLS team comes off the back of preliminary tests with the KX250F and plenty of riding time with a KX450F.
“Everything is going really well. I tried [Arnaud] Tonus’ 250 but at the moment I am mainly riding a 450. The 450 doesn’t need so many parts on the engine but I love the way the Kawasaki turns and it is much easier to handle in the corners,” the Frenchman said.
Tixier is set for more comprehensive work on his 2015 race bike and is happy that the impact to his knee suffered on the Sunday at the Supercross has not turned out to be anything serious. He already has a good grasp of the advantages of the Kawasaki (that was taken to top three GP finishes by three different riders in 2014) compared to the KTMs he has been riding for the past five seasons.
“Wednesday and Thursday will be the first test with the race bike for next year,” he confirmed. “The chassis is very different. I rode a 125 [Kawasaki] back in 2008 but it was a long time ago. When I got on the Kawasaki [KX250F] I was ‘fu*k, it’s pretty easy to turn’. I think the chassis is the biggest difference compared to what I had.”
Tixier believes he has signed for one of the top teams in the MX2 class for next year and after his surprising exit from the factory Austrian squad; a decision made largely in the wake of a lacklustre beginning to the season even if #911 did eventually pip Jeffrey Herlings to the title by four points at the final round. “I don’t think KTM were so fair with me,” he admits. “I was not so happy, whereas Kawasaki were really motivated to have me in the team. The bike is good and together with Dylan [Ferrandis] I think we are a very strong line-up. I think we can make some really good results.”
Tixier was one of the star attractions in Lille and says he is enjoying the profile boost that comes with being world champ. “I did a lot of press and TV [since his win]. It is a completely different thing for me but I liked it. To be world champion was one of my dreams so everything around it is a bonus.”