Former AMA Pro Racing competitor PJ Jacobsen will finally get his shot in World Supersport as a PTR Honda replacement.
18-year-old American, Patrick “PJ” Jacobsen will take part in the third round of World Supersport Championship at Assen in the Netherlands next weekend, standing in for the injured Bogdanka Honda PTR rider Pawel Szkopek, who’s recovering from a broken leg.
Jacobsen, from Montgomery, New York, started racing at the age of three, collecting over 30 flat track titles before switching to road racing in 2006, taking the national 125cc title at the first attempt and being selected for the MotoGP Academy program the following year.
With experience and podium finishes on the national level in the US and Spain, as well as a wild card appearance in the 2008 125cc Indianapolis Grand Prix, PJ has been looking to make his mark on the world level again while the Bogdanka Honda PTR team always had one eye on the talented American.
Pawel Szkopek broke the tibia and fibula of his right leg in a high-speed crash during practice for the second round of the season at Imola in Italy almost two weeks ago. Having undergone a 5 hour operation a day after his crash, the Pole is recovering well at home but won’t be fit enough to ride at Assen.
PJ Jacobsen: “I feel pretty good. I’ve been training a lot and pretty much waiting for a phone call. I’m very excited about riding the Bogdanka Honda PTR. My goal is to ride as fast as I can. I don’t really know what to expect as I haven’t raced in the World Supersport Championship before but I tested a PTR Honda in January and really liked it. I have a lot of confidence, I know the bike and know it’s very good and capable, an all-round good bike, so I am just looking forward to a good race. I’ve raced in the Spanish Championship before but I don’t know any other European tracks, including Assen, so it will be a new experience for me. I’ve been playing it on a video game every day recently which should be helpful. It’s a fast a flowing circuit which should suit my style and my 125cc background. I don’t feel any pressure and just want to go out and ride my race with the Bogdanka Honda PTR team.”
Mike Piasecki, Bogdanka Racing Director: “PJ is still very young but he’s a massive talent and someone we’ve had one eye for a long time. Pawel Szkopek is recovering well for his injury and the operation but he won’t be fit to ride at Assen. Of course we hope he’ll be back on his bike as soon as possible but in the meantime, it’s the perfect opportunity to give PJ the chance to make his World Supersport debut with Bogdanka. It will be very interesting to watch his progress and have another talented rider flying the Bogdanka flag. Assen is an iconic track, PJ should really enjoy himself on our bike there.”