Martin Jessopp refuses to be worried by huge Portimao testing crash
Martin Jessopp has refused to be bothered by a horror test crash that left him with bleeding on the brain and a broken arm.
The MCE Insurance British Superbikes ace of Yeovil was just hours into track time at Portugal’s Portimao circuit last week when he suffered a massive high side and was thrown from his brand new RidersMotorcycles.com BMW Superstock bike on its first outing.
Jessopp, who only announced his return to BSB after an injury-plagued year in World Supersport earlier this month, woke up in a hospital near the circuit with no recollection of the accident involving the BMW S1000RR.
Now back at home and with his arm in a cast, Jessopp said he had no fear about returning to the saddle, conceding he had suffered worse injuries and such mishaps were occupational hazards of the high-octane sport.
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The 27-year-old said: “I don’t remember any of it to be honest. I can just only remember getting to the track in the morning, but can’t really remember anything from getting up in the morning until the accident.
“I have probably had about four other serious accidents like that with serious concussion and you never really remember anything. You get little bits back, but I can’t recall anything from the morning and it was definitely not how we wanted the test to go at the start of the year. It can only get better.
“Us racers haven’t got that part in their brain where they look back and worry about stuff so even if I could remember it, it wouldn’t concern or bother me. I love doing it because there are not many people that can do it and the risks are so big.
“With races like the North West 200 and Macau, the risks are so big and that is why people respect our sport so much because it takes a lot of courage to do it. It comes at a price sometimes, as I have seen again this week.
“When they diagnosed everything I was conscious but heavily concussed so can’t really remember. I looked at the x-rays when I came round so I saw the images of my hand but I couldn’t remember even seeing those. They spoke to my dad and he was still a little bit concerned about it.”
Jessopp endured a tough series in the 600cc World Supersport class, picking up just one point as he battled to adapt to a smaller-engined bike and recovered from a broken collarbone and shoulder muscle injury.
The father-of-one had intended to use 2012 as a stepping stone to World Superbikes, but with finances amongst the obstacles, Jessopp opted for a return to the British Championship where he enjoyed success on a Ducati.
As well as changing manufacturers, he is also changing ambitions and is targeting a place towards the top end of the grid after showing promise in previous years.
However, Jessopp admitted his Portuguese crash had denied him important track time ahead of the start of the BSB series at Brands Hatch in April.
“It’s definitely annoying,” he said. “The British Superbikes Championship starts quite late in the year compared to World Superbikes so time isn’t an issue. The only thing I am annoyed about is missing the track time.
“It was wet on the day of the crash and I would’ve missed the afternoon anyway, so that wasn’t a problem but I missed the next day and that was a bit annoying. I missed a lot of track time on the Monday and that is what I am more annoyed about, more so than hurting myself.
“My injuries will heal and my arm is in plaster at the moment but that will be off in two weeks and I will be back training and boxing a week after that.
“The injuries don’t bother me and are very minor in comparison to some of those that I have picked up before through racing.”
Whilst taking time out to recuperate, Jessopp will sit down with his one-racer team ahead of another potential trip to continental Europe next month. He said: “The official BSB tests don’t start until mid-March but we will definitely be looking to get out before then.
“It will probably be a month until we’re out on a track again, whether it be here or abroad.
“In this country it looks like it will be a long time before track time becomes available. We will repair the bike, which is not an issue, and get back to the workshop, sit down with the team and plan ahead.
“There is no plan in place at the moment, we are just going to be taking it easy for a few weeks and let my head, hand and arm heal up.
“I am just annoyed with the track time I missed on Tuesday and the nightmare of going away to Portugal and only doing a handful of laps before having an uncharacteristic crash.”