Yamaha’s Jake Shipton came into the 2017 season looking fast and strong and was one of the men many thought would challenge for MX1 podium places. But he had a shaky start to the season with a disastrous couple of races in the opening Maxxis British championship round at muddy Culham.
But he’s regrouped and after a finishing a fine third place in Sunday’s Pirelli Masters round at Hawkstone, is back on track and bidding for glory as the MX Nationals heads north to Preston Docks this weekend. We caught up with him to ask the Rob Hooper Yamaha rider about his season so far.
MotoHead: You went into Culham with high hopes, eh?
Shipton: Yeah for sure. I went into Culham with an open mind, had a few people saying I could do this, that the other. I’d had a solid winter except for one crash up at Tain, which made me miss the Hawkstone international. I was nearly feeling 100% so I know I could be up there but it was the first round.
I’d ridden with Brad Anderson and a few guys at practice tracks and speed and fitness is no problem now. I’ve stopped eating burgers and ice cream and dedicated myself to the sport we all bloody love!
MotoHead: What happened at Culham?
Shipton: In the first race I got an alright start, made some passes and was in fifth. Then on the third lap, I think I clipped the guy’s back wheel in front of me as he made a mistake and came straight across me. I was so pissed as I was happy and felt like I was having an easy ride, if that makes sense. I wasn’t pushing and felt like I could push on. I fell in some deep stuff, lost a glove and goggles and came from last to 16th I think.
In race two I got another good start, tucked in behind Jake Nicolls, and someone was on the outside and I knew it so I hugged the turn. That didn’t work out as they came from outside to the inside and took my bars with them. I picked myself up and just got my head down, back to 13th and then crashed on the last lap. I could see three Huskies in front and was pushing hard and lost the front. I was also more pissed about breaking my new peak on the first couple of free helmets I’ve ever had! It was a bad, wet sandy crack ride home from Culham!
MotoHead: So it must have felt good to get third at Hawkstone?
Shipton: Yeah, it did and it didn’t kind of thing. In the first race I struggled a little as track felt really tight with the lines, so I eased up and then went again at the end of the race. In the second race I got to the front, lead for 10 minutes and just made a couple of big mistakes which made me ride tight. Graeme Irwin got me with a couple of laps to go as he took the win in MX1. But for sure it was a better weekend and I stayed on!