Mike Jones rues Wakefield Park disappointment
DesmoSport Ducati’s reigning Australian Superbike Champion Mike Jones will try to take some positives out of a difficult day at Wakefield Park’s second round of the 2016 ASBK season today.
Jones and the newly-formed factory-supported DesmoSport Ducati team, co-owned by triple World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss and Ben Henry, are confident that progress made across this weekend will be vital in the coming rounds.
A racing incident involving 22-year-old Jones in race one this afternoon caused a third consecutive red flag stoppage on the opening lap, which led to the race being rescheduled altogether for later in the day.
Unfortunately for Jones and the team, race officials deemed him as the sole cause of the collision and under the regulations he wasn’t permitted to continue when the race was re-run following lunch.
DesmoSport Ducati’s Jones returned to action in race two and was instantly on the pace of the front-runners, until he was forced out of proceedings while in position five on lap 10 of the scheduled 16.
“Obviously zero points today isn’t ideal for the championship, but we made a lot of progress with the DesmoSport Ducati team and the Panigale,” Jones commented. “We made a big step with the suspension set-up, further tailoring it to my style, which will help a lot in the coming rounds.
“From this point after racing at Phillip Island, which is fast and flowing, and then Wakefield Park, which is tight and technical, with the improvements made we will be heading to Sydney Motorsport Park very optimistic for a strong result. The most crucial thing for us is to keep developing the brand new bike in these early stages and we will be right there.”
Co-owner Henry echoed Jones, stating that in while it was a frustrating end result for the team after displaying so much promise through practice and qualifying, they are certain that information learned will increase the team’s chances of victory in following rounds.
“Sydney is definitely the focus now and regardless of the result, in many aspects we moved forward this weekend,” Henry explained. “We found a few things that worked for Mike in the races and that was really positive. From here we will keep our heads down, continue working hard and look forward to the next round.”
Bayliss made a huge impression aboard the DesmoSport Ducati 1299 Panigale S two-up experience bike during the entertainment breaks at Wakefield Park, pleasing guest pillions around the 2.2-kilometre Goulburn-based circuit.
The next round of the 2016 Australian Superbike Championship will take place at Sydney Motorsport Park in New South Wales on the 16-17 April weekend.