British Superbike Championship rider Martin Jessopp will make his highly anticipated Snaefell Mountain Course debut at the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races.
The 28-year-old, who has road racing experience at the Macau Grand Prix and North West 200, will ride a BMW S1000RR for his family-run Riders Motorcycles team in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior TT Races.
“Having gained road racing experience at the North West 200 and the Macau Grand Prix, I now feel ready to make my TT debut,” said Jessopp. “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.”
Jessopp has been a regular face in the British Superbike paddock since 2004, missing only the 2012 campaign to compete in the World Supersport Championship, when he rode a Ducati in the British Superstock Championship. Jessopp moved to the British Supersport Championship between 2005 and 2007, achieving a best result of fifth and enjoying his best season in 2007, finishing 11th overall.
The Yeovil rider switched to the premier class of British motorcycling in 2008, riding a Honda in the 2008 and 2009 Privateers’ Cup, taking second and third respectively. He moved up to the BSB proper in 2010 alongside Michael Rutter, back on Ducati machinery. Jessopp impressed in the opening rounds of the season, taking five top ten finishes in the first eight races, including a maiden pole position, before a broken leg at the fifth round of the season meant an early end to the year.
Jessopp returned to the series in 2011, taking 11 top ten finishes including a fourth place at Donington Park on his way to 11th overall in the championship.
The Isle of Man TT, however, will not be Jessopp’s road racing debut. He made his Macau Grand Prix debut in 2007, with his best result coming at the 2011 event, finishing second to the ‘Macau Master’ Michael Rutter, a result he repeated at the 2012 event.
He has also shown strong speed at the North West 200, although cancelled races have prevented Jessopp from improving on his highest finish of 11th in the 2008 Superbike race. In 2012 he became the fastest ever man through the speed trap, clocking a phenomenal 208mph on his way to fifth on the grid.
“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,” said TT & Motorsport Development Manager for the Isle of Man Government, Paul Phillips. “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.”