Sep 8, 2015

Finishing Season In Promising Form

The points keep coming for Martin Jessopp, who is finishing the 2015 British Superbikes season in promising form.

The BMW rider finished 12th, 14th and 17th in the three races over the weekend at the Chesire track, meaning he added six more points to his tally.

"It was a good weekend," Jessopp said.

"I could have done a bit more if I had the bike set up the way I needed. Yet a 14th, a 12th and a 17th - so two points-scoring positions from three races - meant the team was really happy.

"I felt we could have done better, though. Maybe not so much from the first race because 12th was good, but I was hoping to make big strides forward in the next two races and that just wasn't the case.

"For instance in the last race I was sat there in 12th and it was all looking good, but as soon as the tyres started to ware the bike changed so much and I almost became a passenger with the control going into corners.

"So I had to drop back into 17th and to be honest it was the same with every race - as soon as the tyres became used it became a handful to ride.

"The races were all very similar and I was really struggling with the bike. With so much power that the BMW has round Oulton Park - where there is no rest on the track at all and it's so aggressive - it doesn't really suit it.

"So it was a tough weekend but I'm happy to come away with the points."

After a difficult start to the campaign, in which the Yeovil rider secured just two points from the first five meets, Jessopp has now consistently added scores over the past four races - 25 in total.

Whilst he is happy with this upturn in form, he also admits that things have gotten much tougher this year because of the improvement among the other teams.

"This season is something like I've never witnessed before with the times people are doing. The pace has moved on crazy amounts," Jessopp continued.

"Even in the last race I still did three lap times in a row that were faster than I'd ever gone round there before so it just shows how hard the pace was.

"At the end of the day we're just a small private team from Somerset trying to fight against these big teams, so it's good for us."

As well as a slightly slow start to the season Jessopp also suffered a setback in the shape of a siatic nerve injury in his back. However, after going to see a specialist it has been identified as a two disc prolapse which although can be very painful, is quite common and is healing on its own.

It means with just three race meetings left in 2015 he can hopefully concentrate solely on accumulating as many points as possible.

"It was a hard start to the year and it was getting better, but the siatic problem in my back put me a big step backwards," Jessopp said.

"I haven't got as many points as I'd have wanted at this stage, but I'm happy with what we've done.

"With that sorted and the twisty tracks out of the way now, the last three slowing tracks will really suit me I think.

"The last three tracks are fast and blowy and I prefer that and we've proved at Thruxton that the bike works well in those conditions. So the next track at Assen should be good for us and the rest of the BMW riders.

"I want to be well inside the points and searching for top tens in every race. I want to finish the season on a high and with what we've done in the last few rounds it's shaping well to do that."

It hasn't all been good news for Jessopp, however, with his trip to the Isle of Man to compete in the Classic TT proving to be a less than positive experience. Riding for Team York Suzuki the Somerset rider did not manage to complete one lap of the iconic 37-mile circuit due to continued problems with the bike.

However, Jessopp has not ruled out returning to the race next year, but will choose the team he rides for extremely carefully.

Thanks to Tom Seymour at the Western Gazette for the use of this article