Martin Jessopp craves North West 200 return

Martin Jessopp at the North West 200 in 2012
Martin Jessopp at the North West 200 in 2012

The fastest man ever in the history of the North West 200 has issued a ‘come and get me’ plea to race boss Mervyn Whyte.

Yeovil’s Martin Jessopp pulverised the top speed record on the Triangle course last year as he thundered through the timing beam at a staggering 208mph on his Riders Ducati during practice.

The 27-year-old failed to confirm the hype on race day as the searing straight-line pace of his Ducati destroyed his rear tyre in the first Superbike event before he suffered a broken collarbone in a three-bike spill in race two.

Jessopp, though, has lost none of his desire to return to the international road race in May and believes he can fulfil the promise he showed when he qualified on the front row of the Superbike grid in 2011.

Jessopp – who returns to the British Superbike Championship this season after a year in the World Supersport class – told the News Letter: “I want to do the North West, but I’ve not heard from the organisers yet.

“I’ve been trying to make contact and I’d like to be back there this year. I’ve been ringing around as well trying to get a decent Supersport bike because with the experience I gained in the class in World Supersport last year I think I could go to the North West and challenge for a podium.

“It’d be a shame if I wasn’t back there because I feel I can get a good result,” Jessopp added.

“I’ve managed to do it in qualifying but each time something has happened in the race.

“Last year with the speed of the Ducati the tyre just fell to pieces and actually de-laminated, then in the second race I got taken out on lap one and that was the end of that.

“I really enjoy the event because there’s a bit less pressure than you get in BSB and hopefully I’ll be back,” said , who Jessopp has switched to BMW machinery for 2013.

Michael Rutter became the first rider at the North West to break the 200mph barrier in 2004 on the HM Plant Honda, while Stuart Easton upped the ante further to 204mph on the Swan Honda Fireblade in 2010.