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Under the Radar: Jimmy Decotis

Usually, I will feature a rider in this column because he has achieved outstanding results, and has gone unnoticed. But this is not why I have decided to put the spotlight on Jimmy Decotis, as his results have been unsatisfactory at best. Hence why, Decotis is now on his way back to the United States, which is why he is featured here; he has quietly separated from his team, CLS Kawasaki.

When Jimmy Decotis first announced that he would be heading to Europe to contest the FIM Motocross World Championship, a lot of fans had very different predictions of how he would fare. I had heard it all from “he could possibly challenge Herlings” to “he would be very lucky to get in the top ten.” However, I don’t think that anyone expected it to go as bad as it did, it was disastrous for everyone involved. Unfortunately, Decotis failed to impress whilst he was over here, as he scored just eleven points in six rounds, disappointingly.

Intriguingly, when the deal was announced back in April, it was mentioned that the contract could extend into 2014 if Jimmy Decotis performed as he was expected to. So, obviously the fact that he is already on his way home halfway through 2013 indicates that the squad were not pleased with the service provided. There has not exactly been an announcement stating that they [CLS Kawasaki] have parted ways with Jimmy, the only information we have is this quote, which was buried in their race report from the weekend.

“American CLS Kawasaki hopeful Jimmy Decotis once again failed to come to terms with the GP track and finished out of the points; he will now resume his career in his homeland, after discovering the intensity of the competition at world GP level.”

So, this is the question: is six rounds long enough to get accustomed to a new team, culture, and series? You could argue that Decotis should have been given a little more time to prove what he could do. However, it seems as though Jimmy wanted to return home, as he wasn’t comfortable in the environment over here. Perhaps he would have thrived more on a squad that was based in the UK? There are many scenarios that you can come up with, which may have suited the American more, but the fact is the deal with CLS Kawasaki just did not work out.

So, this is the question: is six rounds long enough to get accustomed to a new team, culture, and series? You could argue that Decotis should have been given a little more time to prove what he could do. However, it seems as though Jimmy wanted to return home, as he wasn’t comfortable in the environment over here. Perhaps he would have thrived more on a squad that was based in the UK? There are many scenarios that you can come up with, which may have suited the American more, but the fact is the deal with CLS Kawasaki just did not work out.

I wonder whether his performance over here will hinder him when he returns Stateside? You have to presume that his confidence has taken a knock, as Jimmy Decotis spent his time over here battling with riders that he had never heard of at the back of the pack, despite being on superior equipment. Therefore, will some of the teams in his homeland remember this when he goes looking for a ride in the winter? At this point Decotis’ best moto finish in the USA is a sixteenth, whereas he finished fifteenth in a moto at the GP of Brazil. So surely he did just as well over here when he was at his best; he just had many more bad finishes.

In some ways you could put the blame on the CLS Kawasaki team for expecting so much out of Jimmy Decotis. Do they really think that the talent pool in the MX2 class is so weak, that a rider who finishes outside the top fifteen in his homeland, has the ability to push for podium finishes over here? I have said from the very beginning that to expect podiums out of Jimmy is unrealistic; although I did think he would be able to beat Even Heibye from Norway.

Obviously Jimmy Decotis’ performance over here ignited the America vs. Europe debate that seems to have been going on for years, and years now. In my opinion, it proved that the two series are so similar in regard to the talent. It also proved how difficult it is for a guy to adapt to a new culture. Decotis will return to his homeland in the coming days, and attempt to get his career back on-track by going the privateer route once again.

Words by Lewis Phillips

MX Vice Editor || 25

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