Martin Jessopp won't rule out return to British Superbike Championship
Martin Jessopp has refused to rule out a return to British Superbikes just a year after he left the series.
The Yeovil racer’s plans for 2013 are still in limbo, with a World Superbikes ride still a possibility and his top preference. However, Jessopp admitted frustration at prolonged discussions.
The 26-year-old spent the end of last week in Bologna, Italy, for meetings with Ducati and returned with an added option to head back to BSB rather than the deal he had desired to step up to the global 1000cc class.
Jessopp, who endured a torrid 2012 series on a 600cc Honda in World Supersport, said he had never had such doubt hanging over his future so late in the year but accepted the current economic climate made negotiations tough.
“We went to Italy hoping to shake hands on some sort of deal for next year but we ended up getting another option for 2013,” he said. “We could be riding a superbike in either the British or World Championship.
“We came away with some more opportunities than we went with so there is still nothing to report, we are just waiting to hear from the World Superbikes organisation to see if there is anything they can do for us to get us on the grid for next year.
“It is definitely not doom and gloom, there are options there. With no concrete sponsor in place things are definitely hard, but that is the same for every single team out there. These are extremely tough times and they are getting harder every year.
“For the sponsorship companies the easiest area to cut money is with their backing of teams, which you can see with the loss of the factory BMW team in World Superbikes. There is no official Ducati team either and both Yamaha and Suzuki have pulled the plug on their official teams. It is getting harder and harder.
“We have never really left it this late. Last year was really late but we still had a good idea about what we were going to do and now I still don’t have an idea going forward.”
Jessopp said he had an equal chance of joining either the World Superbikes or British Superbikes grid, but added he would definitely not return to World Supersport after struggling with injury and to adapt to the smaller bike. The father-of-one had two years in BSB before choosing the international circuit.
He said: “I would say it’s 50-50 where I could be next year. It definitely won’t be on a Supersport bike. It’s frustrating but that’s the way it is with the economic climate and we will get on with it, doing everything we can.
“I am always waiting for people to get back to me whereas I am always straight back to people when they ask me to do something with regards to next year. It is a bit frustrating to be always waiting on other people.
“With it not working out on the Supersport bike and without a big sponsor coming in or a big help from the World Superbikes organiser entering that championship might not be possible.
“I am not ruling out a return to British Superbikes but I would prefer to be in World Superbikes.”
Jessopp added that next month’s Macau GP allowed him to channel his frustrations into a race. He is also hoping that he will know on his return whether he will need surgery on a broken collarbone sustained at May’s North West 200 in Ireland that was fused together with magnetic pulse and laser therapy.
“I had some more physio on Tuesday and I need a letter to refer me for an MRI scan,” he said. “Hopefully we will get that done before I fly out to Macau and will then have the results when I get back.
“My shoulder feels good at the minute and it has been really strong. With all the motorcross that I have been doing it has not been hindering me at all.
“Now is as good as it is going to be so we need to find out now if I need an operation or not.”