The WorldSBK class is to have at least one American racer in 2018. Today, Honda Racing announced that PJ Jacobsen will be moving up to the World Superbikes class for next season. The 24-year-old American will be racing for the TripleM team, who are also making the move up to WorldSBK after in the Superstock 1000 class for the past five seasons.
Jacobsen has been a consistent contender in World Supersport since joining the class in 2014, scoring two wins and getting on the podium 16 times in total in his career. He had his year in WorldSSP on a Honda in 2015, winning at Sepang and Magny-Cours.
Jacobsen may not be the only American rider to race in WorldSBK in 2018. There are strong rumors linking Jake Gagne to the second seat in the Red Bull Honda team, alongside Leon Camier. Gagne filled in at the Red Bull Honda WorldSBK team at Magny-Cours and Qatar, and is believed to be a strong favorite with Honda and the team's title sponsor Red Bull. Red Bull Honda team manager Kervin Bos refused to comment on the Gagne rumors at the recent Jerez test. Nevertheless, everyone in WorldSBK not wearing a Honda shirt remained fully convinced that it is Gagne who will get the nod.
The Honda press release announcing PJ Jacobsen's signing follows:
PJ Jacobsen graduates to WorldSBK championship with TripleM Honda WSBK Team in 2018
Patrick ‘PJ’ Jacobsen will race the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 for the TripleM Honda WSBK Team in the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship. After several years racing at the front of the field in the World Supersport championship, the 24-year-old American is ready to make his debut in the prestigious class by becoming the standard-bearer of Honda’s new satellite team in the series.
This is a welcome return to the Honda family for Jacobsen, who in the two-year period from 2015-2016 was able to put together a tally of two wins, eleven podiums, two pole positions and three fastest laps with Honda machinery in World Supersport – along with the runner-up spot in 2015. The following year, Jacobsen also impressed on board the previous model of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in the Endurance World Championship, riding for the F.C.C. TSR Honda Team at Portimão and Suzuka.
Patrick Jacobsen 99
I’m very excited to be making my World Superbike debut with TripleM Honda WSBK Team. It’s a great opportunity for me to be finally racing in this class and I want to thank the team and Honda for making this possible. Both the team and I will be rookies in the WorldSBK championship so there’ll surely be a lot to learn, but it’s a challenge that stimulates me and I can’t wait to get started. I enjoyed racing the Fireblade in the EWC two years ago and I love riding 1000cc bikes, so I’m looking forward to trying the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
- TripleM Honda WSBK Team
Honda's WorldSBK Operations Manager
We’re happy to welcome back PJ in the Honda family. He’s a young and very talented rider who has a good amount of experience across different championships, so it will be good to see him riding the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 in World Superbike. I reckon the TripleM Honda WSBK Team is the perfect fit for him because they can learn and grow together in the series during their first year. We look forward to seeing PJ out on track in Honda colours again.