British Superbike Championship competitor Martin Jessopp has confirmed he will make his much-anticipated Mountain Course debut at the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy.
The 28-year old will campaign a BMW S1000RR in the Dainese Superbike, Royal London 360º Superstock and Pokerstars Senior TT Races for his regular Riders Motorcycles team, owned and run by father Phil.
With the exception of 2012 – when he contested the World Supersport Championship – Jessopp has been an ever present in the British Championship paddock since 2004 when he entered the British Superstock Championship on Ducati machinery. The Yeovil rider moved to the British Supersport Championship for the following three seasons enjoying his best season in 2007 when he finished 11th overall with a best result of fifth.
A switch to Honda and a move to the premier British Superbike series followed and Jessopp took second and third in the 2008 and 2009 Privateer’s Cup before making the step up the BSB series proper. Back on Ducatis, and with Michael Rutter as team-mate, Jessopp impressed in 2010 with five top ten finishes from the first eight races including a maiden pole start at Thruxton before a broken leg at the fifth round halted his charge. However, he bounced back in style in 2011 to claim 11th overall with a best finish of fourth at Donington Park and 11 top ten finishes.
However, it’s his road racing results that will have made the most impact on TT fans with excellent performances at both the Macau Grand Prix and North West 200. Having made his debut at Macau in 2007, he proved his talent in 2011 when he took second to Rutter, pushing his more experience teammate all the way, and he repeated the result in 2012 for another superb result.
He made his North-West debut in 2006 and has had numerous top fifteen finishes although cancelled races have prevented him from finishing higher than the 11th he took in the 2008 Superbike race. Indeed, he qualified in second place for the 2011 Superbike Races before becoming the fastest ever man through the speed trap the following year at a phenomenal 208mph on his way to qualifying fifth.
Speaking about the news that he will make his TT debut Martin said: “Having gained road racing experience at the North West 200 and the Macau Grand Prix, I now feel ready to make my TT debut. The TT is the pinnacle of road racing and I am very excited about the opportunity to finally race there. My plan is to work hard and learn the circuit without any pressure to get a result. Hopefully after a few years I’ll have learnt enough to push on and start to challenge towards the front as I have been able to do at the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix.”
Paul Phillips, TT & Motorsport Development Manager, Isle of Man Government added: “Martin is a rider we have been talking to for a number of years and we are delighted that he feels the time is right to come and take part in our event. He has proven quality on the roads and will add real quality to an already superb entry. It’s also fantastic to have another top quality team in the paddock with Riders Motorcycles who have had such a significant presence in the British Superbike paddock for so many years.”