After competing in only its fifth WorldSBK round this weekend at Imola, the Triple M Honda World Superbike team saw their American rider PJ Jacobsen qualify as the top Honda rider in Superpole on Saturday and then score a 14th place finish in race two on Sunday.
On what appeared to be a challenging layout for all the Honda competitors around the classic 4.936km long circuit, Triple M and Jacobsen made use of experience gained during a recent test session at Brno in the Czech Republic. This helped them to become the highest ranked Honda squad in Superpole, with PJ qualifying 17th on the grid.
A technical issue prevented PJ from competing in race one on Saturday, but a determined ride in race two saw Jacobsen collect more championship points for 14th place.
Down in 19th in the first few laps of race two, PJ made up ground and benefited from other riders’ misfortunes as he moved his way up to his final finishing position of 14th. He was Honda’s only points scorer this weekend. After five of 13 rounds, PJ is now ranked 17th overall, with 17 points to his credit.
Hot and humid conditions graced the Imola race weekend, with a marginally warmer track surface being evident in race two, during which PJ had his first chance to see how his machine and tyre selections would work in the heat of battle.
The next WorldSBK venue for the Triple M Honda World Superbike Team will be Donington Park in the UK, with race days on 26 and 27 May. PJ has a season of experience riding in the BSB championship, in 2013, and will be looking forward to challenging the most experienced Superbike riders and teams in the world once again, at a track he knows well.