2020 has been a strange year for sure and one rider we wanted to highlight was Par Homes RFX Racings Nathan Dixon, so we caught five minutes with him to see how things are, how the year has gone, 2021 and how he deals with working a full time job and racing. Have a read below!
Firstly, how has this year been for you personally? It’s been a tough year for everyone with Covid hitting the UK in March and putting a stop on all events.
It’s been a tough year on and off the track if I am honest, I had a really good winter training coming off a broken fibular that I sustained a Canada heights last year. I felt strong on the bike until I went an did a club race at the end of February for a bit of fun and got taken down by another rider and tore 70% of my ACL that I had reconstructed a few years ago which set me back massively so Lock down for me came at the right time as I had 3 and half month off the bike to let that settle down and build some strength up around the knee. When we got back going again, I started to build some moment after getting a few races under my belt in Europe then I got landed on at cusses and suffered a severe concussion which pretty much ended my year.
Let’s talk about the EMX Open Championship. You competed at the opening three rounds of the Championship which took place in Latvia with some good results. Unfortunately you missed the final three rounds in Italy but ended the season in 21st. How was it for you and could you tell us a bit more about why you didn’t attend Italy?
I tell you what it was awesome! I’m so glad I scraped the barrel and thankful to the few people close to me that pulled together and chipped in to get me out there because not only was the racing so much fun the travel side of the trip was just as good! It’s the first time that I have planned a trip like that on my own (travel wise) and even though a few things went wrong like the place I booked to stay didn’t exist and having to book different flights home to avoid Covid red zones I wouldn’t change anything. With it been a brand new championship I didn’t know what to expect but I took it race by race and I had some awesome battles inside the top 10 and even the top 5 which was so good for my confidence. The highlights where the 6th overall at round 2 with a 7-5 and running 4th in moto 2 at round 3 before my subframe snapped, it’s a shame we had 2 races where my bike broke but I can’t thank Neil, James, Paul and stotty enough for their help whilst I was out there with the bike and keeping me going. I really wanted to get out to race Italy but unfortunately, I got landed on at Cusses MX nationals and suffered a server concussion which put me in a bad place. After seeing the specialist 6 weeks after the crash only then did it hit me at how serious my brain injury is, I not going to lie it was scary. I took 6 weeks off work and any sort of exercise to give myself a chance to be right not just for motocross but for day to day life, I have now started light exercise but I can’t rush in to anything just in case the symptoms arise again.
In the UK there has not been must happening due to the pandemic but with some strict restrictions in place the MX Nationals UK team pulled off a four round Championship. You ended the season in 15th place in the Pro MX1 Championship. How was it for you?
Firstly, how impressive was it that the MX Nationals managed to pull off any sort of national championship in a pandemic with such strict rules like the UK had! For me personally it was a test of character as nothing went to plan and then getting landed on at cusses pretty much ended my year even though I tried to race at fat cats it was probably the worst thing I could have done with my head injury, as much as I told myself I’m okay I can do this I really wasn’t.
Apart from riding you are also the Assistant Brand Manager for Bell Helmets with RFX. How do you manage to juggle working, training and riding to give 100% for the team?
Its defiantly a balancing act because at the level I’m racing at its like having 2 full time jobs but there is always a way to make things work weather that be having late nights and early morning to make sure that I get my training in so be it. It also helps to be working in the industry and have a boss like Paul and colleague like Toby who are very understanding when I need time off to go ride and train with very little notice which isn’t ideal when we are flat out most days but they make it work. As much as I would like to just be a full time racer, I really like learning about the business side of the industry and what better place to learn at one of the biggest motorcycle distributers in the UK with such an established brand like Bell Helmets.
Youth riders look up to the pro riders. Do you have any advice for an upcoming rider who is looking to get into a team and get into the European Championships?
The biggest thing I would say for going to race in Europe is make sure you can put a hot lap in. It’s the biggest hurdle for a British rider going to Europe is been able to qualify, out there you have to qualify to race so you might be able to put 2 x 30’s together better than most but if you can’t qualify you aren’t racing. It’s something that isn’t emphasized in British youth and adult motocross because you don’t have to risk it all in qualifying if you want to race as there is just enough people to fill the gates anyway. When we are looking for riders to sponsor and promote at Bell, we don’t just look at the results of a rider, obviously we take it in to consideration. However, we see them as ambassadors for our brand whether it be a youth rider making a name for himself/herself or a pro who is established in the sport. So, the best advice is promote yourself professionally and remember people sponsor people so show your character and enjoy yourself that’s why we are in this industry!
2021 MX Nationals UK have changed their format with the pro riders now competing on the Saturday also alongside the Expert class. What are your thoughts on this?
Personally I think it’s the right decisions because we get double the amount of race time which is not only good for spectators but the riders as well we have trained all winter to race so the more racing the better in my eyes.
Looking ahead now to 2021, you will remain with the team. Can you confirm yet what Championships you will be concentrating on?
My plans for next year are still getting sorted out but they will be confirmed in the next few weeks. The one thing I know is I’m so grateful to Paul at RaceFX for the continued support and keeping my racing dream alive and we will be back racing in 2021 and competing in the MX nationals, British championship and select EMX Open rounds.