Having scored points in one of the two races that constitute a full WorldSBK race weekend at the previous three rounds, Assen was another step forward. Rider and team were able to take away points scores in each race for the first time in one event.
Going 15th in Superpole qualifying, at what was a consistently warm and dry Assen weekend in the Netherlands, PJ was able to once again improve on his grid position in the races, with 14th in race one and 13th in race two.
He had been up as high as 11th in the second race, fighting for a top ten, before tyre wear and its effect on his chassis set-up came into play.
Warm track conditions all weekend at Assen were an unusual characteristic for this circuit in the north of Europe, but a very welcome one for a team that is still learning in its first year at this level of production-derived racing, and needs to make good use of every single track session.
With the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team unable to race at Assen due to injuries suffered by their riders, the Triple M squad was flying solo on their CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 for much of the weekend, which did not help the overall effort to find an ideal set-up.
Now the team will take part in a two-day test at Brno – a returning circuit to the WorldSBK calendar in 2018 – before the next race takes place at the undulating and flowing Imola circuit in Italy. Race days at round five will be on 12th and 13th May.
PJ Jacobsen 99
It was quite difficult for us this weekend, especially not having the other Honda riders Leon Camier and Jake Gagne here to help get the bike set up. It was not one of our best weekends but hopefully we can go to the test in Brno next week and see where we can improve out on track. We will work with what we have now to get the chassis in a better position for me as I have not been really comfortable in our direction all weekend. Neither the team or me want to be riding around in 13th and 14th, to be honest.
It seems there were two different races within the same race, both yesterday and today. PJ was quick and comfortable for the first 10-12 laps. Then when the drop in the tyres became dramatic, the bike changed completely and the second part of the race was not so nice. The bike starts to be difficult to handle. This is the area we have to work on more, when the tyre starts to drop. So we have to think about something with the chassis, and especially the electronics and engine to be more constant all race and save the tyres for the second part. We are still working a lot and every track is new for us. I think we made another step because for ten laps we were really in the top ten group. Now we have to make a longer race pace.
TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands
WorldSBK 2018, Round 4
- Air Temp: 23°C
- Humidity: 46%
- Ground Temp: 30°C
|#||Rider||Num||Nationality Nat.||Points Pts.||Team||Constructor Constr.||Time/Gap|
|1||Tom Sykes||66||GBR||25||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||33’36.444|
|2||Jonathan Rea||65||GBR||20||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||+5.445|
|3||Michael van der Mark||60||NDL||16||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+7.507|
|4||Xavi Fores||12||SPA||13||BARNI Racing Team||Ducati||+11.316|
|5||Chaz Davies||7||GBR||11||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+18.953|
|6||Jordi Torres||81||SPA||10||MV Agusta Reparto Corse||MV Agusta||+22.414|
|7||Marco Melandri||33||ITA||9||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+22.515|
|8||Loris Baz||76||FRA||8||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW||+23.997|
|9||Toprak Razgatlioglu||54||TUR||7||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||+24.245|
|10||Lorenzo Savadori||32||ITA||6||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||+24.653|
|11||Davide Giugliano||34||ITA||5||Milwaukee Aprilia||Aprilia||+41.807|
|12||Michael Rinaldi||ITA||4||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+41.846|
|13||PJ Jacobsen||99||USA||3||Triple M Honda World Superbike Team||Honda||+47.516|
|14||Alex Lowes||22||GBR||2||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+53.355|
|15||Ondrej Jezek||37||CZE||1||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||+54.065|
|16||Yonny Hernandez||68||COL||0||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki||+57.758|
|NC||Leandro Mercado||36||ARG||0||IodaRacing Team||Aprilia||DNF|
|NC||Román Ramos||40||SPA||0||Team Go Eleven||Kawasaki||DNF|