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Jessopp aiming high on return to BSB

17 January 2013

Yeovil's Martin Jessopp is confident he can challenge for honours on the BMW S1000RR this year after returning to the British Superbike Championship.

Jessopp tried his luck in the World Supersport Championship in 2012 but admits his stint in the series 'didn't really work out' and the Riders Motorcycles ace is happy to be back in the 1000cc class.

He also outlined his plans to ride in a number of World Superbike rounds as a wild-card during an interview with the Western Gazzette.

“Now that it's all announced, it's finally off my chest because I literally hadn't told anybody and it's nice to be able to start talking to potential sponsors and people who might be interesting in helping me this year,” said Jessopp.

“It was a bit of a shock and a disappointment to a lot of people when I left the British championship a year ago but we're back and from the comments on the social networks people have welcomed me with open arms and are glad to have me back - I'm glad to be back really.

“I went straight into World Supersport to ride 600s – I don't do things the easy way – but it didn't really work but I'm back on a Superbike, which is what I really enjoy riding and which is what I ride better,” he added.

“I'm back in the British Superbike Championship and I've unfinished business, so it'll be good to get back in there and try and get some podiums.”

Jessopp feels the experience he gained from riding at world level in 2012 will enhance his chances of running at the sharp end consistently this year.

“I've got more experience now and I've learnt a lot of things from racing around the world. What I learnt about corner entry speed on the '600' and things like that I think will help me in BSB now.

“Not having traction control is a new thing for me, so a bit more corner speed will be needed and that will definitely help,” he said.

“I've got my crew chief back from when I was riding the Ducati Dave Allenby, plus Greg Smith who's been with me for many years, so it's the perfect package for me.

“I've got the people around me that I need, whereas in the bigger teams sometimes you have a lot of people in there who don't need to be there.”

Jessopp previously rode a BMW at the North West 200 road races in Northern Ireland a few years back and believes his Riders Motorcycles team will build a competitive machine that will be a cut above any S1000RRs that have been raced previously in BSB.

“I had a ride on a BMW a few years ago at the North West and also at a few tracks in Britain. As a standard package it's proven and the guys who were on them last year in BSB had some good races,” he said.

“Our history speaks for itself and on paper there's a bit less to the BMW than the Ducati. With the bikes we can build I think we can a little bit better with the BMW than what people have done before in BSB.

“I think we can definitely be at the front end with it.

“BSB has all the guys I've raced against before plus a few new faces have come in and BSB is a very open championship with riders from all around the world, which shows how good the championship is.

“I can't remember the last time I had an injury-free year and hopefully this will be the first one in a while,” he added.

“But I've recovered from any injuries I had and I'll be starting the season fighting fit.”

Jessopp revealed he also intends to compete as a wild card entry in the World Superbike Championship.

“We will be doing some wild card rounds in the World Superbike Championship this year. We'd have liked to have been in the championship this year but without a big sponsor it wasn't possible.

“But we are in a position where we can at least do a couple of wild cards and it's something I'm really looking forward to.”


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