Catching Up with Jake Piccolo | Presented by KTM Canada

By Billy Rainford

Presented by KTM Canada
Catching up with Jake Piccolo. | Bigwave photo

It was Week #4 for the DMX Frid’Eh Update last week and that means it was time to catch up with Jake Piccolo. Jake chose #4 as his career number after winning the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown Series 250 MX title.

Things happened and we weren’t able to actually post up an Update the past couple Fridays, and we apologize for that. It’s Tyler Medaglia’s week this week and we’re already set to go on that one!

Anyway, Jake is back down at Club MX in South Carolina getting ready for his debut on the factory Red Bull Thor KTM team this season. After what he was able to accomplish with some time at Club last year, let’s see what he’s got for the competition in 2022. As they always say, it’s one thing to win a championship, it’s another to defend one.

Here’s what Jake had to say when we contacted him this week:

Jake is our reigning Canadian 250 MX champion. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Jake. We haven’t spoken for a while now. Have you had a chance to sit down and think about what you were able to accomplish last season? You have to be pretty happy about finally getting yourself a Canadian Pro championship.

Jake Piccolo: Hi, Billy. It’s been a little while for sure. Yes, absolutely very happy with how it all went down last season. So grateful to the team for a top notch program. Al (Dyck) and Andrew (McLean) know what they’re doing and wouldn’t have happened without those guys.

That moto at Gopher Dunes where you won by like a minute, was that your best race or was there a better one, in your opinion?

That was definitely a good one, everything just kinda clicked. But I think some others stand out to me, like Deschambault when I had a bike issue, that could have been really bad but I salvaged good points. Also Sand Del Lee where I wasn’t quite feeling it so I rode smart and finished on the podium. I feel like those were the rides that won me a championship. 

You were also in a tight battle with Darien Sanayei for the 250 Supercross title. You just missed it but won the final round. Is there something you would have done differently, looking back?

Yes, Darien was riding well with not many mistakes. I made a few that ended up costing me. Whoops, for example. I could have been better. That’s something that I will need to improve. Another year under my belt with more Supercross prep going in will be a big help.

Jake has been on the radar from a very young age and says he’s happy to finally have made it to the factory ride level. | Bigwave 2012 photo

What did you get up to when the series ended?

After we drove home I had about a week to rest then we were off to Italy for the MXON. 

Do you do anything to earn more money back home in BC? Like, do you have an off-season job?

This is my first year of no high school so I just took a bit of time off. Still sort of figuring out what the off season will look like. 

And now you’re back at Club MX getting ready for the 2022 season. How has that been going? Who are you riding with down there?

Yes, I’ve been back at Club for a couple of weeks. It’s going well. Most of the big name guys are riding Supercross and I’m starting out riding outdoors because I’ve been off the bike for a while. Teren Gerber is here and Tyler Gibbs will be here soon.

With so many Canadians looking to race Supercross this season, do you have any plans to race any? When do you see yourself making that leap into AMA Supercross?

I will start training for Supercross here in the next couple of weeks. I definitely want to do some races but I don’t want to rush it. We’ll see how it goes. My main focus is to be ready for round one of the Triple Crown in June. I have lots of time for Supercross.

Jake represented Canada at the 2021 MXON in Italy and his speed and style turned a lot of heads. | Bigwave photo

You’re officially on the Red Bull Thor KTM team now. How has that been going and what’s the biggest difference with that level of support?

Yes, it’s been a long time coming but finally made it! It’s been great. Still early on but so far the biggest thing has been more structure and bike support while I’m training. Last year was good but I was mostly on my own with the practice bikes. So far, Nico (Hébert) has already been down to make sure I have everything I need and he’s making plans to come back and stay for a while.

How is the new bike? Have you got it all dialled yet?

New bike is really good. Pretty familiar territory so no issues there. I felt right at home on day one.

If you don’t do any Supercross, will you do any pre-season races before racing starts in Canada?

Possibly in May. I’ll be in Quebec so if something works out I can go to while I’m there then great. We do a lot of race simulations at Club so that’s a big help. Not really stressing pre-season races. Last year I didn’t do any.

Jake will do some Supercross training this off-season and, who knows, we may be able to add his name to the list of Canucks at a round or two in 250 East! | Bigwave photo

How long will you be staying at Club?

About 4 months until I head to Quebec in May to hang out with the team.

Last year, I think the guys there knew what they wanted you to focus on. What are they trying to get you to work on this time? 

Just knocking the dust off right now and then we’ll be working on keeping the consistency ball rolling. Putting in days of solid laps. 

OK, good luck with your testing and preparation. Who would you like to thank?

Thanks a lot. I’d like to thanks KTM Canada, Club MX, Red Bull, Thor.

KTM Canada