American PJ Jacobsen Makes History In Malaysia

Former AMA racer PJ Jacobsen made history this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia when he became the first American to win a World Superport race.

The 21-year-old New Yorker started from pole position (another first for an American), was second into turn one, and three corners later took over the race lead from fellow championship contender Jules Cluzel.

The Frenchman hounded Jacobsen for the rest of the 14-lap race and even briefly passed the CORE Thailand Honda rider in the final corner. Jacobsen won the drag race to the finish line. Margin of victory was 0.091 seconds.

“I was really on the limit,” Jacobsen said on the podium. “Jules pressured me the whole way. Last lap I just overshot the corner; I thought [Jules] was going to be there. I brought it back and really hammered on the gas and got him at the line. It was a great race.”

Cluzel’s MV Agusta teammate, Lorenzo Zanetti, won an equally dramatic last-lap battle with series points leader Kenan Sofuoglu for the final spot on the podium. Sofuoglu registered the quickest lap of the race, a 2:09.338. Two-time AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas was seventh, his best finish in the series.

Light showers early in the race didn’t have any bearing on the outcome. “For me, it was not possible to pass on the straight,” Cluzel said. “This is the key of the win. I did a good pass in the last turn. The only way to win was make him lose more time. But I didn’t do that, so it’s why I finished second.”

World Superbike points leader Jonathan Rea, who finished first and second, respectively, in Sunday’s doubleheader, was one of the first to congratulate Jacobsen after his victory. Longtime supporter Barry Gilsenan also joined Jacobsen in parc ferme.

In the nine races run thus far this season, Jacobsen has one win, two seconds, and two thirds. He is currently third overall in points with a chance to win the title. Jacobsen also competed in WSS last year, earning a second and third riding a Kawasaki, and finishing the season sixth overall in points.

The series now takes a long break before regrouping at the Circuit of Jerez in Spain, September 18-20.

Former AMA racer PJ Jacobsen made history this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia when he became the first American to win a World Superport race.

The 21-year-old New Yorker started from pole position (another first for an American), was second into turn one, and three corners later took over the race lead from fellow championship contender Jules Cluzel.

The Frenchman hounded Jacobsen for the rest of the 14-lap race and even briefly passed the CORE Thailand Honda rider in the final corner. Jacobsen won the drag race to the finish line. Margin of victory was 0.091 seconds.

“I was really on the limit,” Jacobsen said on the podium. “Jules pressured me the whole way. Last lap I just overshot the corner; I thought [Jules] was going to be there. I brought it back and really hammered on the gas and got him at the line. It was a great race.”

Cluzel’s MV Agusta teammate, Lorenzo Zanetti, won an equally dramatic last-lap battle with series points leader Kenan Sofuoglu for the final spot on the podium. Sofuoglu registered the quickest lap of the race, a 2:09.338. Two-time AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas was seventh, his best finish in the series.

Light showers early in the race didn’t have any bearing on the outcome. “For me, it was not possible to pass on the straight,” Cluzel said. “This is the key of the win. I did a good pass in the last turn. The only way to win was make him lose more time. But I didn’t do that, so it’s why I finished second.”

World Superbike points leader Jonathan Rea, who finished first and second, respectively, in Sunday’s doubleheader, was one of the first to congratulate Jacobsen after his victory. Longtime supporter Barry Gilsenan also joined Jacobsen in parc ferme.

In the nine races run thus far this season, Jacobsen has one win, two seconds, and two thirds. He is currently third overall in points with a chance to win the title. Jacobsen also competed in WSS last year, earning a second and third riding a Kawasaki, and finishing the season sixth overall in points.

The series now takes a long break before regrouping at the Circuit of Jerez in Spain, September 18-20.

WSS podium Sepang

Top of the box: PJ Jacobsen (center) poses with MV Agusta teammates Jules Cluzel (left) and Lorenzo Zanetti (right) on the podium at Sepang.

PJ and JC action Sepang

Runner-up on Sunday, Cluzel trails Jacobsen at Sepang. Over 14 laps, the pair were never separated by more than a few feet.

PJ Jacobsen action Sepang

After his victory at Sepang, Jacobsen is third overall in World Supersport points. He trails series leader Kenan Sofuoglu by 28 markers with 75 still up for grabs.

PJ Jacobsen pole position Sepang

Jacobsen kneels next to his CORE Motorsport Thailand Honda CBR600RR after earning pole position on Saturday.

PJ LZ KS FP1 Sepang

Opening practice on Friday at Sepang was just as heated as Sunday’s race. Here, Jacobsen (99) leads Sofuoglu (54) and Zanetti (87).