The MX2 class in both the Maxxis British Championship and Michelin MX Nationals is in a state of transition, as some of the established stars have vacated the series and there is a bit of a gap for new names to step up. Nathan Dixon could be one of those guys, as the niggling injury that he encountered last year is no longer an issue.
MX Vice: How did your off-season go? Obviously the injury last year carried over a little bit, but are you going to be all good for the first British round?
Nathan Dixon: The off-season so far has gone really well, I've hit the gym big style and put on an extra five kilograms of muscle, which I really needed. I was been in France and Spain with the RMJ Pro Academy, so got some good bike fitness and speed out there. I smashed my navicular to bits, yeah, and it took a great surgeon and a lot of metal to fix. I should have had the metal work removed really and got fully fit before returning, but the temptation to give the season a go was too much. You live and learn. The metal work is all out now and Harris & Ross did a great job.
Just go back to last year quickly and explain what it was like to go through such a difficult year with injuries, especially after breaking through the year before.
It was really hard mentally and physically, as I'd really got myself ready for big results. I could qualify well and set fast laps, so my speed was (and is) great, but without leg strength it was really tough. I really thought I could tough it out, but your legs are such a key factor in racing. It caused problem after problem.
Knowing that you are now at your best and carrying no niggling issues, do you notice a difference in your confidence and how you ride? It must make everything easier.
Yeah, I feel like a different rider and I felt more in control even when I had only been on the bike for a month! I've been working hard to gain a lot of whole body strength, which I was really lacking last year, and especially leg strength with RMJ and Stephen Smith. I feel we have made a massive improvement in that area.
Having been with this team from the start, just explain how the whole operation has grown as we enter the new season and how that has had an impact on you.
The team RFX KTM has grown again this year with the seven riders, from young Ashton showing us all how its done on his 65cc up to MX1. Obviously I've been on teams with Joel [Rizzi] and Henry [Williams] for years, which is great as we know each other really well. It's also great to have Ash join with all his experience. I think the team manages to balance professionalism and an awesome setup with a friendly atmosphere, which is perfect. That's all down to Paul Irwin, James Dixon (my dad) and all the team at RaceFX.
I am guessing that shining in GPs would be a priority, if you could choose, so is your focus solely on that? What do you think you can achieve in Britain?
Yeah, for sure, GPs is the goal and this year I will be competing in seven of them. After doing three last year I know what to expect going into this year and I feel I will be better prepared with being fully fit and healthy. My aim is to start scoring points and see where it goes from there. In the UK the goal is always to win and I feel that this is possible for me, with being healthy and injury free. I'm putting the hours in so let's see.
Some riders before you have spent as long in EMX250 as possible, so why have you decided to do the opposite and go to MX2 fairly early?
With being twenty-one and the age limit being twenty-three in the MX2 class it just made sense to not waste time in the EMX250 class and bite the bullet and take on the world championship. With the three GPs that I did last year, it was a massive learning curve. I will be taking what I learnt last year and applying it to the GPs that I'm doing this year.
How does being a RMJ coach (with the Rookie Academy) slot into your programme? Will it take you away from your training or give you time to spend at the track and pick things up
Being an RMJ coach fits perfectly around my training programme, as Richy has made sure of that. It's good for me to be out coaching the rookie academy; it makes you see things about the riding style of a rider and how you can change little aspects to help them go faster. Most of the time I can apply those things to my riding as well, which works well.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: RFX KTM