Nicholls makes comeback to racing!
Taylor Hammal is to join the Tru7 Honda Racing team in 2024 to contest the British motocross championship on a Honda CRF250R. And in a surprise return to the highest level of UK racing, Jake Nicholls is to join him and race again in the series.
Hammal will also contest the Fastest 40 championship – previously known as the MX Nationals – on a Honda CRF450R. Nicholls will also step up to the 450 to race the UK Arenacross series that starts in January.
Hammal is a former MX2 GP rider and was the best UK finisher in the British GP this month. He finished second in the British MX2 championship this season, with a win in the Schoolhouse round. It was a welcome return to form after two injury-ravaged seasons.
In the newly-christened Dirt Store British MX2 championship next season, the 23-year-old from Winchester will line up with the 33-year-old former GP rider Nicholls, who is managing director of the Tru7 Group which backs the team.
Nicholls, who retired from full-time professional racing following an injury in 2022, helped support the Tru7 Honda riders this season. He also contested several one-off races, including the Hawkstone Park International where he finished on the podium, one spot in front of Hammal. He now wants to race again in the British MX2 championship as he loves riding the CRF250R so much.
It’s fitting because 2024 is a big year for Honda in the MX2 class following the launch of the Honda CRF250R Cup which will be run as two separate championships. This is for amateur racers in the Fastest 40 series and AMCA championships where there are four brand new bikes up to be won.
Once again the team will to be managed by triple world 500 champ Dave Thorpe, running alongside the current Crendon Fastrack Honda squad which will be led by British MX1 champ Conrad Mewse who will be joined by Callum Green who raced for Tru7 Honda in 2023.
Jake Nicholls said: “I fancied racing again! I had 18 months off to concentrate on work and then we had another baby girl so life changed a lot in a hurry. I realised I miss my racing and I really enjoy it.
“I chose 250 as I spent a lot of time on 250s – almost ten years – and it comes more natural to me. I can jump on a 250 and still be fast, consistent and competitive.
“My goal is to enjoy myself. But I’m still serious as when I turn up to race, I want to win. And I also want to help the team and it’ll be cool to help Taylor step up. I have a lot of experience and lot to give so I can help with bike set up and pushing him around the track.”
Taylor Hammal said: “I’m looking forward to getting on the Honda as I’ve never raced one before. It’s brilliant to be part of the Tru7 Honda Racing team. Just being around Dave Thorpe and Jake Nicholls means I can learn so much. I’ll just be soaking up whatever I can as the amount of experience here can really help me as a rider and boost my confidence. I’ll be going to the track knowing I’m fully prepared.
“I was second in the British MX2 championship in 2023 and next year I’m aiming to go one better. The goal is to win it, but I know it’s going to be tough. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself, just ride like I know I can and get a few more wins.
“And it’s exciting to be racing the CRF450R in the Fastest 40 championship. I raced a 450 this season in the Patchquick and Marshfield Good Friday events and really liked it even with no practice beforehand. It’ll be good to see how I go with more time on a 450.”
Dave Thorpe said: “The focus of the team is slightly different to the 2023 season but I’m really excited to see what Taylor and Jake can do on the Honda CRF250R as I’m sure it’ll be a great package for both riders.
“Working with Jake has always been a pleasure and it’s exciting he’ll be back racing in the British championship again with us on Honda. He has so much experience and talent, it’ll be a great asset to the team to have him around at the races and I know Taylor will really benefit from that. And when Taylor races the 450, it’ll open a few eyes, I’m sure.”
Words and images: Honda