Whither PJ?

Jacobsen at speed earlier this season at Road America. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

If you’ve been wondering where Celtic HSBK Racing’s PJ Jacobsen has been for the past few MotoAmerica rounds, the New Yorker and former World Superbike competitor had been hoping to be aboard his #99 Ducati Panigale V4 R at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is the next round of the MotoAmerica Championship and will take place on October 9 through 11.

Jacobsen has been recuperating from severe burns he suffered to his skin on several parts of his body when he had to bail off his flaming motorcycle during Sunday morning Stock 1000 warmup at Road America 2. He traveled to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and attempted to ride at that round of the Championship, but the discomfort (to put it mildly) was too much for him to bear.

Jacobsen then went to the next round, which was at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, but it was only to support his team. He didn’t attempt to ride and was not on the final entry list for the round.

Celtic HSBK Racing recruited former World Superbike rider and Ducati Corse test rider Lorenzo Zanetti from Italy to race the motorcycle in HONOS Superbike at Ridge Motorsports Park in Washington, which was the round that followed Pittsburgh.

Following Ridge, Zanetti had to return to Italy, and he was not able to return to the U.S. in time for round six at New Jersey Motorsports Park due to COVID-19 restrictions and the team didn’t have a rider for their Ducati at this past weekend’s round seven at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

Which brings us to the upcoming round eight at Indy. We checked in with HSBK Racing team owner Bobby Shek, who said that it “doesn’t look positive for Indy.” Then, we contacted Jacobsen himself, who concurred with Shek’s assessment of the situation and said, “Yes, it doesn’t look positive.”

We’ve seen some photos of some of the burns on Jacobsen’s skin and suffice to say it’s no surprise that Jacobsen will most likely not ride at Indy. As to whether Celtic HSBK Racing will put Zanetti on the bike again, or if they will recruit a different rider to race the Ducati at The Brickyard, stay tuned for more news later.

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