PJ Jacobsen World Superbike NewsWith the passing of Nicky Hayden this past May, World Superbike lost not only one of its most beloved racers, but the only American competing in the top-production Superbike class.Besides wildcard appearances by Jake Gagne on the Red Bull Honda WorldSBK Team, Gagne substituting for the late Hayden, the only other American rider competing in the international FIM series was PJ Jacobsen.
The New York native has competed in the World Supersport Championship since 2014 – first with Kawasaki for 2014 and half of 2015, then with Honda through 2016. In 2017 World Supersport, Jacobsen spent the season riding for MV Agusta, finishing sixth overall behind winner Lucas Mahias (Yamaha YZF-R6).But for 2018, Jacobsen will be promoted to the premier WorldSBK class, competing on the #99 TripleM Honda WSBK Team CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. The 24-year-old will be the sole rider of Honda’s new satellite WSBK team.During his tenure on Honda CBR600RR machinery in World Supersport, Jacobsen achieved 11 podiums, which included two wins; two pole positions; and three fastest laps. He finished runner-up in 2015 behind that’s year’s winner, Kawasaki’s Kenan Sofuoğlu.In 2016, Jacobsen also competed aboard a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in the Endurance World Championship, riding for the F.C.C. TSR Honda Team at Portimão and Suzuka.Speaking of the move, PJ Jacobsen said: “I’m very excited to be making my World Superbike debut with TripleM Honda WSBK Team. It’s a great opportunity for me to be finally racing in this class and I want to thank the team and Honda for making this possible.“Both the team and I will be rookies in the WorldSBK championship so there’ll surely be a lot to learn, but it’s a challenge that stimulates me and I can’t wait to get started. I enjoyed racing the Fireblade in the EWC two years ago and I love riding 1000cc bikes, so I’m looking forward to trying the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.Marco Chini, Honda’s WorldSBK Operations Manager, also commented: “We’re happy to welcome back PJ in the Honda family. He’s a young and very talented rider who has a good amount of experience across different championships, so it will be good to see him riding the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 in World Superbike. I reckon the TripleM Honda WSBK Team is the perfect fit for him because they can learn and grow together in the series during their first year. We look forward to seeing PJ out on track in Honda colors again.”