“Shut up, Cheryl!” - Jake Dixon has a genius way to deal with Moto2 demons

Jake Dixon says he is going into the 2022 Moto2 season with more belief in himself after he and his wife decide to christen his 'inner demon', Cheryl

Jake Dixon - GASGAS Racing

Jake Dixon has opened up about the mental toil of competing in the Moto2 World Championship, revealing his strategy of ‘humanising’ his mental demons has helped alter his perspective in pressured situations.

Currently in the midst of a critical fourth season in Moto2, the 2018 BSB runner-up has endured a troubled time in the intermediate GP class with a combination of uncompetitive machinery, errors and injuries scuppering him from recording anything more than six top ten finishes in three years.

It is an affliction that has hampered his start to 2022 too but Dixon has at least shown strong form, fighting back from a lap one skirmish in Qatar to finish 11th on the GASGAS Kalex. He also scored his maiden pole position in Indonesia but crashed while running second.

Carrying the hopes of the UK with Sam Lowes, Dixon - who started two MotoGP races with Petronas SRT Yamaha in 2021 - has revealed his wife Sarah’s ability to bounce back a cancer diagnosis inspires him to keep trying… that and a light-hearted way of dismissing a nagging inner voice named ‘Cheryl’.

“In front of the camera I have always seemed happy-go-lucky and smiling, but I am like any other human, I have that inner doubt,” he told Neil Hodgson in an interview on BT Sport’s MotoGP channel.

“My whole career I have always been self-doubting but this year I have said no more. I have had that inner voice telling me ‘you can’t do it, you can’t do it’ but me and Sarah now laugh about it. Sarah is really good to me, she is the one that always brings me through the tough times. Everyone has that inner voice - good and bad - but my bad voice has held me back in the past.

“So we said ‘let’s put a name on it’, so we called it “Cheryl”. So Cheryl starts talking away, saying ‘you’re rubbish’ but by putting a label on it I can say you’re not coming in. My flow is going this year, I believe in myself.”

Dixon credits much of his success to Sarah, a breast cancer survivor who has helped the 26-year old keep his racing pressures in perspective.

“My wife is the most amazing woman. What people may not know, Sarah has been through a lot when she had cancer, there are so many things in life that seem to throw rubbish upon rubbish onto you to knock you down, but she is my biggest inspiration, she keeps getting back up.

“If she can keep getting up and beat it, then who is this ‘Cheryl’ to knock me down and stop me from achieving my goals. That will be the success to me this year.”