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2018 TT launch: Jessopp aiming to be fast from lap one

Having enjoyed success at the North West 200, where he held the record speed trap figure of 208mph for numerous years, and at the Macau Grand Prix where he’s chalked up five podium finishes, it was perhaps surprising that it wasn’t until 2014 that Martin Jessopp sampled the TT for the first time.

However, the British Superbike Championship regular has certainly made up for lost time and gone about his business in a quiet, diligent manner resulting him in now being a podium finisher in the Lightweight class, a top ten finisher in the other classes, and a member of the exclusive 130mph Club.

“Riding at the TT is the best feeling in the world and the feeling I had on the last lap of the Senior when I did the 130mph lap was amazing and one I want to experience more," said the West Country rider.


" I know where I’m going now at the TT, where the corners go, where the bumps are, what gear to be in etc so this year will be about being fast right from the first race and not the final one. I want to be in the 130s straightaway and if I can do that, I’ll get myself further up the leaderboard and, hopefully, into the top six in the big bike races.”

Jessopp’s TT debut ended with a broken shoulder after coming to grief on the exit of Governor’s Bridge during the Senior race but he was immediately hooked on the Mountain Course and his results have improved every year since with 2016 seeing him claim his first podium with third place in the Lightweight behind Ivan Lintin and James Hillier. And he went one better in 2017 taking the runner-up spot behind Michael Rutter.

“I’ve been racing on the roads for ten years but only four at the TT so I’ve had to build things up but I have a good team around me who are fully focused on me. We have the same bikes, with a few tweaks here and there so the continuity is a great benefit and we all know our jobs inside out.

"I’ll be aiming to have a strong practice week to allow me to be as comfortable as possible for the opening lap of the Superbike race and push from the off.”

“I’d never ridden a Twin until a couple of years ago and whilst they’re not as physically demanding as a Superbike they’re possibly harder to ride as you have to be fully committed at every corner.

"In the past, I haven’t been on it until the North West but this year I got some decent time on it in Spain and learnt a lot so having finished third, and then second, I’m hoping it’s going to first this time around.”

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