Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Native New Yorker loving Irish odyssey

An Englishman, Irishman, Australian and a Manxman obviously wasn’t enough of a cultural mix for Hector and Philip Neill’s Tyco Suzuki team — having recently added an American to their line-up for the remainder of the season in 18-year-old PJ Jacobsen.

The native New Yorker, a former 125cc Grand Prix and American Supersport rider, made an indelible mark on team manager Philip Neill after riding his Superstock Suzuki during ad hoc performances at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch, and the Moneymore man has entered him in this weekend’s Adelaide Masters’ races at Mondello Park.

Jacobsen’s main desire is to compete for the team in next season’s British Supersport Championship, but the opportunity to ride the big one-thousand Suzuki for the remainder of the year has put a huge smile on his face.

"Getting the chance to come back and ride for the Tyco Suzuki guys is great for me," said the diminutive youngster, who completed a track day at Donington Park on Tuesday in preparation for the British round there in just over a week’s time.

He added: "I never stopped laughing the last time I was here. I really loved it, but the team is so professional and made me very welcome, which also is what you need."

Jacobsen will spend the next seven weeks based in various parts of Northern Ireland as he combines the trip with a holiday, but his main focus is undoubtedly on the British Championship and selling himself to series bigwigs for 2013.

"I couldn’t believe the crowds when I went to Brands Hatch back in July," he said.

"I’ve raced in most championships and BSB is not far off MotoGP and definitely on a par with World Superbike.

"I’d really love to ride for Philip and Tyco Suzuki in British Supersport next year. But first we must do a job in the final few races in the Superstock class. The Donington track is really cool and suits my style so I can’t wait to get back there next week."

This weekend will give Jacobsen the chance to shine on Irish soil at the Mondello Masters, which is now regarded as the country’s premier short circuit championship.

He should certainly add an extra marketing edge for the promoters.

But the young American is making no predictions, as he looks to learn his third new circuit in as many races on the Tyco Suzuki.

He concluded by saying: "I did race the big track at Mondello on a 125cc GP bike in ’07 or ’08, but this is in on the shorter track. There’s no plan; just to keep riding and then get a bit of sightseeing done."

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