Tyco Suzuki team boss Philip Neill is tipping young American prospect PJ Jacobsen to progress to the world stage in 'the next few years'.
The New Yorker has ben granted the opportunity to compete in the British Superbike Championship this year alongside Josh Brookes after making his mark for the Northern Ireland team during a series of one-off rides this year.
The 19-year-old claimed a victory in the National Superstock 1000 class and also triumphed on the team's Supersport machine at Assen to give Neill a selection headache for 2013.
“We were instantly impressed with his first visit to Oulton Park and from there on it was really just a case of progressing from race to race,” said Neill.
“His results were very impressive, however, more importantly so was his attitude towards racing in general.
“Everyone involved with our team, sponsors included, developed an instant attraction to PJ.”
Regardless, Neill was unsure over whether or not BSB was the right move for Jacobsen so quickly next year and considered the Supersport class for the American prospect.
“Putting PJ on the Superbike was not an easy decision. The obvious choice would have been a season in Supersport, where I have no doubt he would have challenged for the title after his race win at Assen this year,” he said.
“We considered every angle and had some detailed discussions with PJ, and he convinced me of his desire to ride a Superbike.
“Okay, it is a gamble for sure because of his lack of experience, but we really want to give him the chance, and of course we see him as a longer-term project, even though I suspect he may surprise a few people next year.
“I firmly believe that he has all the right ingredients to achieve something special at this level,” he added.
“I have no doubt that this kid has the talent to reach a very high level in motorcycle racing.
“At this stage BSB is a great place for PJ to be and although we have no immediate plans to move onto the world stage just yet, I believe that PJ will have an opportunity to do that within the next few years.”