Buildbase Honda rider Jake Nicholls will race round seven of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at RedBud this weekend.
The current Maxxis ACU British Motocross MX1 Championship leader – who raced a round of the Canadian Nationals at the start of June – wasn’t sure he was going to make the trip but when we caught up with him on Tuesday morning he was at Gatwick Airport about to board a flight to Canada.
“I’m literally just showing my boarding pass and about to walk onto the aeroplane,” he said. “I’m flying to Canada and then we’re going to see the team I rode for last month and picking up the bike that I raced. We’re staying there for a couple of days and giving it a service ourselves – I’ve got my mechanic Rob and Ryan Thorpe with me – to get it ready.”
Since signing for Dave Thorpe’s team and stepping back from GPs, Jake’s been ticking off items from his bucket list and racing an AMA National is right at the top.
“We’ve got a bit of an adventure on our hands really. Once we get there we’ll be in Canada for a couple of days and then it’s a six-hour drive to RedBud so we should be there on Thursday in time for the press day on Friday. I’ll get to know the track and then race on Saturday and fly home on Sunday.”
With Rob and Ryan riding shotgun, Jake’s hoping to fine-tune his race bike and get it dialled to his riding style.
“The engine that they have is good and it’s all set-up for the fuel they use over there but we’re going to do bits and pieces and make it our own in certain ways. We’ve got a couple of days to get it right.”
With the likes of Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin and Justin Barcia in action the pace in the AMA Nationals is electric and Jake, who’s now very much a part-time rider, should consider it a successful event if he can break into the top 10.
“I’ve no expectations – I’m just going to wing it and see how things go really. I’ve no idea where I should finish or what I’m capable of but that’s the joy of events like this – just go and have a go and see where it takes us.
“Life’s good at the moment. I’ve been so busy away from the racing so it’s a nice little break. It’s not a holiday but it will be fun and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
If Jake does do well it will put him under the spotlight for a place on Team GB at the MXoN that’s at the Michigan track in October.