by Eliot Goodyer
Jake Dixon finished seventh in the first Moto2 Grand Prix of the season in Qatar on his return to racing following a serious wrist injury.
Hailing from Dover, Dixon has only recently recovered from the wrist injury sustained as a result of a crash during qualifying for last November’s European Grand Prix.
A turn four highside at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia resulted in a right wrist fracture which jeopardised Dixon’s career.
The movement in his wrist remains limited despite undergoing surgery in December but he felt he was ready in time for the new season.
Dixon isn’t expecting to be fully fit for several more rounds but expects to be fighting at the top, saying: “I want to be fighting for the title, I have the team to do it so I’m going to be trying my best.”
The Kent rider had to overcome plenty of pain just to complete the race, saying: “I couldn’t change direction. I didn’t have the power to brake in the end. I did all I could do. I ended up having to brace my arm into my stomach to help me turn. The wind also made it really hard.”
He recorded a time of 40 minutes and 11.844 seconds in Doha to clinch seventh spot while fellow Brit Sam Lowes won the race with a time of 40 minutes and 3.123 seconds, and Australian Remy Gardner and Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio finished in second and third respectively.
Dixon’s team-mate for Malaysian team Petronas Sprinta Racing, the Spaniard Xavi Vierge, failed to complete the race.
The next Moto2 Grand Prix on April 4 is also in Qatar before attention switches to Europe for the subsequent 12 races.