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Martin Jessopp will focus solely on feature races at North West 200

'The bikes are just too different to mix and maybe if I'd been riding a four-cylinder Superbike it would have been different' - Martin Jessopp
North West 200 speed king Martin Jessopp has decided against riding in the Supersport races at the event on Saturday to focus on the Superbike and Superstock events.

Jessopp created a buzz at the North West 200 during the first qualifying session on Tuesday when he became the fastest rider in the event's history as he flashed through the timing beam at 208mph on his Ducati 1198.

The Yoevil man competes in the World Supersport championship under the Riders PTR Honda banner, but Jessopp has decided against riding in the 600cc races at the North West.

“It would have been nice to do the Supersport races because I've got used to the Supersport bike now having done a few world championship rounds, but the problem is that the 600 Honda is just so different compared to the big 1200 Ducati,” he said.

“The bikes are just too different to mix and maybe if I'd been riding a four-cylinder Superbike it would have been different, but I'm just going to concentrate on the big Superbike and the Superstock bike as well.”

Jessopp is earning a reputation as a rising road race talent and admits he has changed his attitude to events like the North West 200.

“Until last year I'd always really treated the road races as holiday races,” he said.

“I know you get a lot of British Superbike guys who treat the TT and the North West as the biggest races of their year and I do treat it seriously, but you are aware of the dangers involved.

“But once you get your around it all you're a racer at the end of the day and my lap time last year was good enough for second on the Superbike grid behind Michael [Rutter].

“So I'm riding fast and we've more to come from the bike and a bit of work to do yet because I'm not on the front row.”

Jessopp is even contemplating making his debut at the Isle of Man TT races in the not too distant future.

“I went over to the TT for the first time to watch last year and I'd never really shown that much interest in it before to be honest, but I loved it.

“It's something I'd like to do in the future.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Martin Jessopp - Rapid Bathams Ducati [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Alan Bonner was killed in an incident at the 33rd Milestone.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Peter Hickman claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT with a runner-up finish in the RST Superbike race.

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