The new Triple M Honda World Superbike Team and rookie rider Patrick ‘PJ’ Jacobsen took part in their first WorldSBK race weekend together at Phillip Island in Australia over the weekend, with Jacobsen finishing 16th and then 14th in the two 22-lap races.
After two days of official tests that preceded the first round of the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship Jacobsen and his team took their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 to within two seconds of the very fastest rider, despite still building up their basic race set-up at the challenging 4.445km long circuit.
With PJ 22nd in the Superpole 1 qualifying session, with a 1’33.875 best lap set on the Saturday of race weekend, he improved to finish 16th in the first race. He missed out on a point by one place and a mere seven seconds, after 22 intense laps.
The second race was a special one in many ways for such a new team in WorldSBK, with PJ taking 14th place and scoring two points, in a contest that was again carried out over all planned 22 laps – but this time with a mandatory pit stop in the middle to take on fresh rear tyres.
In staying out longer than most in the first sector of the second race PJ was even classified as the race leader for one lap, before coming into the pits to take on fresh rubber, as all riders were required to do by Race Direction.
American rider PJ now leaves Australia for the next round in Buriram 16th overall in the championship rankings, after a successful first ever WorldSBK weekend for both rider and team.