Jake Nicholls has had a difficult year. However, he rebounded in a big way today, when he finished a comfortable second in the MX2 qualifying heat at Matterley Basin. With Saturday in the rear view mirror, we caught up with Jake for a quick chat about a handful of different topics.
MX Vice: Obviously, second in the qualifying heat today was a great showing for you. Perhaps it was the best we have seen you ride since Valkenswaard?
Jake Nicholls: Yeah, I rode well today. I mean, I have ridden well since Valkenswaard – I just haven’t been able to put in a good result on paper. It’s been up and down, and quite difficult. Yeah, I feel good now, and it’s nice to feel like this at the home GP. Like I said, I’ve felt good many others times this year. But I’ve either crashed, or had one good race and one bad race. Hopefully I can put two good results together tomorrow, and it should be okay.
MX Vice: So, why haven’t those results come together in recent rounds? It is quite well known that you have had a lot of issues, but what have these been exactly?
Jake Nicholls: Well, I was ill in Qatar already – then we came to Italy, and I got sick after that, and that just dragged on for literally two months. I was on antibiotics, and then off – I ended up with four different types [of antibiotics]. I just felt so up against it. I had to rest during the week, as a result, so I lost all fitness and I wasn’t riding very much as well. So, I just lost a bit of form really. I started to feel good again in Finland. But, I had a big crash and got run over, and I have had problems with my back ever since really. I don’t like to use excuses, but it has been up and down. Everyone has their issues like that, but it has really affected me this year. Normally, a few issues here and there aren’t really an issue – but it has been pretty intense.
MX Vice: You have to move up to MX1 next year, because of the age restriction rule. Are you happy about having to move up at this point? If you had the choice, would you stay down a little longer?
Jake Nicholls: I’m pretty ready to go up, to be honest. I’ve been racing a 250 since around 2003. So, it’s been ten years on a 250. I want to go up, but finding a ride is proving to be difficult. I’m hunting for one, still – it’s not easy. Hopefully I’ll be able to find one soon, and get it sorted. I would have liked to have a ride earlier than now. But, that is the only thing that isn’t good about leaving MX2 – I want to ride a 450. I think that I ride a 450 better than a 250 – getting a ride is difficult though.
MX Vice: Finally, you’ve been selected for our Motocross des Nations team again, which was expected, as you are our strongest MX2 rider. What are your thoughts on that?
Jake Nicholls: Yeah, I’m really happy. It will be my third time representing the country. Hopefully this time we will be able to do a little better than Lommel. Lommel was just a weird track – I don’t really like it, even though I live there. But I really like Teutschenthal. It is a little bit like Matterley Basin to be honest, just a bit slower – it’s similar soil. I’m really excited about that. I think I can do really well there, and the team can also. Obviously, Tommy was always going to be on there. But I’m pleased that Shaun is on it, he deserves it, and I’m looking forward to doing well.
MX Vice: So, the other two riders on the team [Tommy Searle and Shaun Simpson] would have been the riders that you would have personally chosen?
Jake Nicholls: Definitely, one hundred percent – no two ways about it. Obviously, Max is riding really well, but he isn’t a 450f rider. So, for him to then ride a 450, he is going to have to adapt to a new bike. Shaun is doing well already, and he is a full time 450 rider. So he [Simpson] was an obvious pick for me, and he rides with his heart. I mean, Max does too, but Shaun deserves the spot.
Interview by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Elliot Spencer