Jake Nicholls interview
Jake Nicholls came within one point of winning his first ever GP! It was an unbelievable second race where four or five guys appeared to be in with a shout of the podium and win.
After a brilliant ride to second in race one and keeping race winner Ferris honest, Nicholls had an atrocious start in race two. The Englishman had to come through the field before he was even in reckoning the front guys but when Ferris went down suddenly people started wondering if this really could be Nicholls’ time.
The Martens’ KTM rider pushed on passing rider after rider before finally getting onto the back wheel of Jordi Tixier and the back of a four way fight for second. The crowd urged him on and Nicholls did everything he could in a ride of sheer heart and determination as the laps wound down.
Ultimately he came up just one point short but it was a brilliant performance by Nicholls who was on fire all weekend and quite deservedly had his best GP career result of second overall.
We spoke with Nicholls in the press centre to get his take on the day.
Are you happy or frustrated after coming so close to win? Is it a mixture of emotions?
I just wish I would have got a better start really. But I am over the moon, this time I was second instead of third. It’s my best ever finish so I am really pleased with that and it is awesome to do it in front of the home crowd. It’s like redemption really, I have had so much go wrong this year and for it to finally all go well here it is extra special.
The first race you started catching Ferris halfway through did you finally settle for second or where you just making a couple of mistakes trying to get him?
I was trying to catch him and started making a few mistakes but I didn’t want to throw it away because the track was so tricky. Eventually I settled for second, although I did keep pushing but every now and then I would make a mistake and have to settle down a bit.
The second race you had the bad start but when you saw Ferris kick starting his bike did you think it was on then?
I didn’t really notice to be honest! I was out there trying to get passed as many as possible just trying to get on the podium I didn’t think I had a chance for the win. Then I saw on my pit board I had to pass Tixier and I thought ‘Oh the win not just the podium!’ I pushed so hard but the last two laps I just couldn’t pass. The track was really good today but it was really difficult to pass. Especially people like Tixier because the top five or six are just so close. I was doing that big jump after the start and made up time there but otherwise it was so hard to make time. If you just protected your line you were safe.
You had that wee mistake off the table top there and you had to make the gap back to Tixier again.
Yeah that proved I had the speed because as soon as I made the mistake I caught right back up but as soon as I was onto him and held the line you can’t do that much about it. It was a shame about the mistake but I don’t think it made that big a difference to the end result but yeah I would have liked to have passed Tixier.
The crowd were really good, even that second race with the bad start they were cheering you on in every turn.
Yeah it was awesome. They were really going for it. It gets blocked out sometime when you are racing but some corners especially the right hand before the step down and step up you could really hear it. It was cool to have that behind you. I had a lot to live up to obviously with Tommy winning both races last year but I was pleased I could give them something to cheer about.
It sets you up well for the Des Nations and you know you can run that pace now with a good start.
Yeah that’s it. The track at the Des Nations is not quite similar to this. It is hard packed and greasy like this and I like the track so I am confident for that race. But I am also looking forward to the next GP at Lierop because I like that race. It is completely different to this obviously but I don’t live that far from there, it’s sand and I ride quite a bit of sand.
This good end of the season might help you get a better deal next season?
Exactly, I don’t have anything yet. I am still well and truly looking. I can only hope that it helps and I’m sure that people who follow it know that I have had potential all year but it helps to get up here overall.
Interview by Jonathan McCready
Picture by Elliot Spencer