Mike Jones ready to attack ASBK competition on home soil
Mike Jones wrapped up the 2015 ASBK Championship on a Cube Racing prepared Kawasaki ZX-10R ahead of JD Racing Yamaha’s Daniel Falzon. The remainder of Australian road racing’s elite were busy competing in the rival Swann Superbike series, but 2016 has seen the likes of Yamaha’s strong triumvirate of Wayne Maxwell, Glenn Allerton and Cru Halliday back in the Motorcycling Australia run series, alongside Team Honda’s talented duo consisting of Troy Herforss and Jamie Stauffer. Clearly, the game has stepped up a level for 2016.
A change of machinery to Ducati, with a new DesmoSport Ducati team morphing out of the existing Cube Racing framework thanks to the backing of Ducati legend Troy Bayliss, has also brought its own unique challenges for Jones in 2016.
Those early season disappointments were all forgotten at Barbagallo Raceway however, when Jones and the Ducati took out a hotly contested opening race at Wanneroo. Jones took third in the second Wanneroo bout, which allowed Wayne Maxwell to take the Wanneroo round victory by a single point over Jones.
Still, Wanneroo was a watershed day for Jones and the Ben Henry managed DesmoSport Ducati squad. This weekend Jones is on home soil, at the technical and bumpy 2.1km Morgan Park circuit situated two hours from Brisbane, which will host round five of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul Pirelli.
“It would be extremely important for me to get a win at Morgan Park, it obviously being my home round of the ASBK Championship this year and having my family and friends around supporting me over the weekend.
“It has been a big learning curve riding on the DesmoSport Ducati in comparison to last year. We have made a lot of progress and I am feeling quite comfortable on the bike now so that gives me a lot of confidence for this weekend.
“I think even though I am on new machinery I still have the home track advantage over the other guys. As a kid I have grown up racing this circuit and although I have done minimal Superbike laps I still know the track quite well.
“Switching to the Ducati this year hasn’t been a hindrance, if anything for this track it is an advantage because of Ducati’s strengths and the way the engine works it should suit the twisty and narrow track well..
“This weekend is really just going to come down to pure determination I think. The guys I am riding against are equally as good and their equipment is equally as good as ours, so it’s just going to come down to who is more determined to win the race!.
“I think that I am certainly determined to win being a home track race,” he said.
This young gun isn’t resting there though, this weekend will also mark the start of the two round FIM Oceania Championship where Jones will represent Team Australian with Jon Daniels Racing’s Daniel Falzon to battle against the Kiwi representatives, in a bid to win the title for a second year in a row.
“To be able to represent my country at my home track is quite an achievement and I suppose to be representative for the FIM Oceania Championship, and it couldn’t be better for me to have the first round at my home circuit.
“The ultimate goal this year was to be able to back up an Australian Championship win again this season, although it’s looking a bit difficult due to a shocking round two of the ASBK.
“If I am racing here again in 2017 I’ll be looking to win another Australian Superbike Championship but if that is not the case and I was to race in Europe, then obviously I would have to re consider my goals.
“But always the overall goal is to be racing in the World Championship at some point in my career,” Jones concluded.
Morgan Park Raceway is where the ASBK battle continues this weekend, August 5-7, the penultimate round of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship.
ASBK Championship Standings after Round four
- Wayne Maxwell 176
- Glenn Allerton 171
- Troy Herfoss 158
- Mike Jones 137
- Ben Burke 114
- Cru Halliday 106
- Daniel Falzon 103
- Brayden Elliott 91
- Jamie Stauffer 84
- Matt Walters 73