Crash.net:
So you're not based in Europe anymore?
PJ Jacobsen:
No, I'm back in the States right now. When I was in British Superbikes I was based in Northern Ireland because I've got a couple of friends there. But now for me it's quite easy to be based from the US because it's just a six or seven hour flight to Europe and I can stay in hotels as I need. For the whole of this year I'm planning to fly back and forth.

I usually leave NY on Monday to get to the track on Tuesday and then I'm ready for the weekend when the jet lag has gone and then leave for home the following Monday. It's convenient for me because I've got a couple of bikes here and also my girlfriend and a couple of dogs and I like that feeling of coming home.

I'm not actually in NY city, I'm right in the countryside a little over an hour from the city which means I can do plenty of dirt biking. When I get home I usually get straight on a dirt bike, I enjoy motocross, wood drives and supermoto. You'd think I'd have enough of bikes on the track but usually when I get home I'll just be riding all week you know. It keeps me bike fit and also when I've had a hard time I can ride all day and get a good sweat on.

That's particularly good after hard times like the race at Assen when I can clear my head and get things into perspective, in fact it's been useful after the last two rounds I've had.
Crash.net:
At the moment it looks like you've got the important things which are the speed, the bike and the team but you're not having a lot of luck.
PJ Jacobsen:
No, no honestly I think it just that - a bit of bad luck. At Aragon I crashed on the second corner and it's one of those crashes which is just strange and at Assen things were looking great in the full dry. Even in the race conditions things were looking good with 6 laps to go and then it seemed to start hailstorming and after the red flag I went down.

It's a shame because I saw the red flag the turn before and I was just getting ready to go into the pits. I wasn't even going that fast. I put my leg out and it went straight down, it was unreal.
Crash.net:
Riders often say that it's the crashes they don't understand that get to them.
PJ Jacobsen:
The two crashes did come out of the blue a little, I kind of understand them but don't. They were weird situations so I've put them straight down to bad luck. I wasn't doing anything wrong or pushing too hard or anything, I still lost the front though. I guess it was a question of low grip so that's enough understanding to allow me to put it out of my mind.

I'm sure it won't affect my confidence for the next round, I'll go back and continue doing my job of winning races. I'm not letting something like that damage my confidence.

Honestly, I don't think I've ever been riding as well as I am now. Over the winter I've done a lot of training, I think I was pretty fast last year but elements like that training have helped me speed up for this year and more importantly made me more mentally strong.

Things aren't going right at the minute, when things start clicking though I think I'll show a lot more results than last year and I have faith that things will be fine. I'm really going out there with the strong attitude that I'm there to win, not to come second. It's just that I'm going through a hard patch at the moment.
Crash.net:
So when things are going badly, do you ever wonder why you're doing it?
PJ Jacobsen:
Not really. First and foremost, racing's a lot of fun and honestly I've been doing it for my whole life so it's all I know.

You have to be careful not to get caught up in all the politics because the fun can then be left out of it. You have to occasionally remind yourself not to get too caught up in it and tell yourself that you're here to have fun as well as doing your job of getting results for the team. Like they say, a happy rider's a fast rider.

On days when things aren't going well you've got to remind yourself that you'd rather be riding a bike than doing some normal job. You've got to remind yourself that you're being paid to do something you love.
Crash.net:
Would you say that the Ten Kate team has a special atmosphere?
PJ Jacobsen:
It's got a great family atmosphere and from the moment I arrived I felt that I was getting on with everybody at the team really well. There're a great group of guys and as I said before haven't forgotten that you can also have fun racing. I even hang out with some of the mechanics and team outside the track which shows that the relationship is genuine.

But the most important thing is that they know what they're doing and work really, really hard to get the job done. I think I can say that it's one of the best teams I've ever been in if not the best.

I've finally got some great equipment underneath me and a team that knows how to get the best out of it. At the moment I feel that I have to figure myself out a little more so that I can give the team the results that I think they deserve for their work. I'm so happy to be with them.

I think the team are also happy with my effort and results, after all crashing out from the front shows good effort but we just need to get to the finish now to be happier!
Crash.net:
And are you happy with the Honda itself?
PJ Jacobsen:
Oh for sure. I know that Kawasaki have put a lot of effort into testing and bringing out new stuff which you can often see on Kenan's bike but my Honda's right up there. It's really fast and not giving anything away to the other bikes and it's a great handling bike. That's the great thing about WSS, the equipment's really even. The bike really suits me and at the moment it's just a matter of putting a race together to prove that the bike in my hands is capable of winning.
Crash.net:
I'm guessing that your contract is with Ten Kate rather than any direct Honda involvement?
PJ Jacobsen:
Yes, my contract is with Ten Kate but it's the official Honda 600 team so Honda is putting everything into that program for Ten Kate. There are no factory Honda personnel though, the whole crew is Ten Kate.

It's a one-year contract so I'll do what I can and hopefully get another one.
Crash.net:
Riders like Sam Lowes and Cal Crutchlow have shown that WSS is a good springboard for Moto2 and MotoGP - is that something you have in mind?
PJ Jacobsen:
Those riders certainly made a statement when they did that but for me a good WSS result is also a good way to get into a WSBK team. Johnny Rea and Chaz Davies have shown how to do it that way, for sure WSS is a great series to do well in. It's a great class not only for Moto2 but also WSBK. In fact, when it comes to getting to MotoGP it looks to me as if WSS is maybe even better than WSBK.

For me at the moment though MotoGP seems a long way away and if I got a good opportunity to go there that'd be great but currently I'd like to be in WSBK and hopefully this is will be my last year in WSS. It's the same as any series though, I'd need to make the step up with a good or official team and that's why I've got to get some results now.
Crash.net:
Does your nationality help you getting a ride?
PJ Jacobsen:
I do agree that the American nationality can be a help, but it's no help without results.
Crash.net:
Is the American racing scene improving at all?
PJ Jacobsen:
I think that after MotoAmerica was taken over I feel that each year there has been a step. They got the right people involved like Colin Edwards and Wayne Rainey and I think they can be successful in bringing the series up.

The main thing they're lacking though is the fans and that we need more manufacturers to get involved but it's the fans where everything comes from.
Crash.net:
Do you notice any fast American riders coming through?
PJ Jacobsen:
I've grown up racing with Cameron Beaubier since I was 12 years old and he's the same as me so if you think I'm fast then he's fast too. I think if he got the opportunity on the world scene he would do great but it's so hard for an American rider to come and start from scratch on the European scene.

I've also noticed a rider Called JD Beach who rides a Yamaha in the Supersport class and I think he could be really quick. But I think the rider who could come over and get something done immediately would be Cameron because he's had plenty of success and experience.
Crash.net:
I guess that expenses are pretty high for an American rider, are you paid enough in WSS to make a decent living?
PJ Jacobsen:
Yeah, for sure. I get paid enough to also take into account my flights and expenses so I'm happy enough with that. It's quite good but it's winning races that counts. For me success isn't about money it's about results and getting to the level I want to get and then I'm sure the money will take care of itself. Honestly money doesn't motivate me, it's success.
Crash.net:
What do you consider to be success?
PJ Jacobsen:
Well, I've already come a long way for a rider from a small town in Montgomery, New York and even getting to WSS I'm pretty happy about but the goal for me is to get on a World Superbike in a good team that can win and be competitive.

I'm very enthusiastic about WSBK, I like the atmosphere in the paddock and am friendly with many of the riders there.

I often talk to Johnny Rea and if you look at how he's making a living, his family life and his racing you've got to say that that's pretty good. I can see that he's really enjoying his racing and rather than looking purely for money and perceived prestige in GP's I think that would be a great level to get to if possible in the future. I think if I got there I might be able to say 'Yeah, I made it!'
Crash.net:
You always seen to have time for fans, is that side important to you?
PJ Jacobsen:
Without them I'm not here. I really appreciate the support I get and I have to say it helps in motivating me. I often check out the comments from my Facebook postings and I'm happy to say that it's almost all really positive stuff and I'm grateful for that. When I have good days or bad they always seem to be there with me and that really helps to get through the more difficult times.

Without the fans, what is it really? When you win a race and there's nobody there to celebrate with you? - No it's the fans that it's all about.

Crash.net:
Do you read the comments on your interviews?
PJ Jacobsen:
Sure I'm always interested to hear what people say.
Crash.net:
Thanks for that PJ and really looking forward to you staying on the bike until the end of the next race.
PJ Jacobsen:
Yup, me too!

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