Martin Jessopp: We must channel BMW power for new BSB season
Martin Jessopp has been left under no illusions that his BMW has sufficient power to compete in MCE British Superbikes, it is now about channelling it.
The Yeovil-based Ridersmotorcycles.com racer has completed a fourth and final official test before next month’s curtain raiser at Brands Hatch.
However, whilst rivals were looking to post increasingly fast lap times at Snetterton, Jessopp admitted he may have to be more realistic about what his team can achieve.
The 27-year-old and his crew knew building a bike from scratch would present challenges, with initial outings at Donington last week soon causing a somewhat pleasant headache.
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“We have got a tuned engine in the bike and it has got a lot of power that comes in quite abruptly,” said Jessopp, who is back in BSB after a challenging year in World Supersport.
“It’s good that the power’s there but there’s a lot of work required with the set-up. We can change the fueling to make that power come a lot smoother and it soon became apparent that there is a lot of work to do.
“We couldn’t push too hard because we didn’t want to risk a crash and a lot of valuable track time. We came away knowing that there’s a lot more work to do which we hope to get done - weather permitting - this week.
“The amount of power has not surprised me, just the delivery was very harsh and higher up the rev range than we were expecting.
“We haven’t fully tested the chassis yet because we didn’t have the temperatures to really push the bike. We’re pleased that we have got the power because Tommy Bridewell last year struggled for power with just a standard engine.
“We’ve got the power there but we have now got to make it usable. We haven’t got any of the factory-manufactured aids and it was quite a surprise how abrupt the power was coming in, but hopefully we can fix that.
“If we can get the fuelling sorted and make it a bit smoother then we will be able to push for some laps and get the times down whilst looking at the chassis set-up as well.
“If we can get somewhere near that towards the end we will be happy. Normally I would be wanting to look at lap times and getting towards the front end but the with amount of work we have got to do it is not really realistic to be worrying about things like that yet. We have got a lot of work ahead.”
Although unconcerned about his pace before the start of the new season, Jessopp said he was excited to be back on the grid he left a year ago.
The former Ducati said: “I have been at a professional level now for nearly ten years so I am fully aware of what it takes.
“The days of me going to a pre-season test in England when it is really cold and pushing hard, making mistakes are behind me now as I no longer worry about lap times.
“I just worry about myself and getting my bike set-up, that is all I can do. Stressing about other people doesn’t happen with me any more.
“After so many years of doing it I am still excited to be there. I am looking forward to getting out there, seeing the other riders, seeing how they are getting on and catching up about their winters.
“It’s good to be back because our off-season is long and it is a long winter.
“Even though it was absolutely freezing and we had to stop one session at Donington because of the snow, it’s nice to be back.”
The 2013 MCE British Superbikes Championship gets underway at Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit on Friday, April 5, with the opening race taking place two days later.