Mike Jones ready for Ducati debut at WorldSBK

Australian Superbike Test - February 2016 - Phillip Island - Image by Mark Bracks - Mike Jones
Australian Superbike Test – February 2016 – Phillip Island – Image by Mark Bracks – Mike Jones
Mike Jones to make Ducati debut with the big-double at Phillip Island

Brisbane’s gun motorcycle rider, 21-year-old Mike Jones, is kicking off 2016 with a massive workload, juggling two rides in two race categories in his debut with the new Troy Bayliss-backed DesmoSport team at next weekend’s (Feb 26-28) 2016 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island.

Bayliss picked the super-talented privateer, who won the 2015 Australian Superbike Championship, from a raft of factory riders and offered him the ace card – the number one riding spot on his new team.  But the deal came with a change in machinery, swapping his Kawasaki that took him to a title win to an Italian Ducati, and some high expectations.

Bayliss, who comes with an unrivalled international reputation in WorldSBK after acquiring three world titles, is not letting Jones start slowly. 

Weekend one will see Jones race as a wildcard in the opening round of the world superbike championship aboard a Ducati, and in between his international commitments the Queenslander will campaign his new 1299 Panigale S in the kick-off event for the Australian Superbike Championship.

In the two 22-lap world superbike races, Jones will race the world’s best including world champ Jonathan Rea and Nicky Hayden who has just arrived at world supers from the MotoGP paddock; while on the national grid he will confront crack opposition like Crankt Protein Team Honda duo Troy Herfoss and Jamie Stauffer, as well as the Yamaha Racing Team triumvirate of Wayne Maxwell, Glenn Allerton and Cru Halliday on their YZF-R1s. It’s the sharpest ASBK field at Phillip Island in recent memory.

Jones’ WorldSBK-spec machine is currently being frantically prepared in Adelaide, to be ridden for the first time at the final pre-season test next Monday and Tuesday (February 22-23).

Meanwhile, the diminutive Jones is being active in other ways.

“I’m just hanging back in Brisbane while the boys are hard at it in the Adelaide workshop putting our world superbike together,” he said. “I have been cycling about 15 hours a week, running for a couple of hours, and also hitting the gym.

“I’m looking forward to the test.  Troy will be in our pit from Monday so while I know and love Phillip Island, it will be great to get all the tips I can from the master.”

Australian Superbike Test - February 2016 - Phillip Island - Image by Mark Bracks - Mike Jones
Australian Superbike Test – February 2016 – Phillip Island – Image by Mark Bracks – Mike Jones

Back at the local level, Jones recently joined a number of his opposition at a two-day shakedown test at Phillip Island, recording the fastest time in his first competitive outing on the 1299 Panigale S twin-cylinder machine — if you don’t count a blast on a drag strip at Willowbank Raceway in Queensland in January!

“I thoroughly enjoyed riding the Panigale at Phillip Island,” said Jones. “It’s a fantastic motorcycle, has very smooth power and is so easy to ride.

“We made good progress in the two-day test. I’m new to the bike, and I came to Phillip Island against very experienced riders who have been riding their bikes for many years, and have competed many times at the island.

“To be the fastest was sensational. And they are early days too, so all in all I am feeling comfortable and confident.”

Jones was fastest in the test ahead of Stauffer, Herfoss, Daniel Falzon (Caterpillar/Mainline Dyno YZF-R1) and welcome back man Robbie Bugden (SA Kawasaki BC Performance Kawasaki ZX-10R), the former Suzuki factory rider and multiple New Zealand champion.

Jones’s first reaction when Bayliss first approached him about the DesmoSport ride was one of astonishment.

“It was Incredible when we got the call from Troy. It wasn’t a prank call, either.

“At first I was a bit nervous because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to adapt to the new bike. But it’s all good, and Troy’s quite happy with where we’re at and how we have adapted to the bike.”

Mike Jones to ride Ducati Panigale 1299S in new DesmoSport Ducati Corse squad jointly managed by Troy Bayliss and Ben Henry
Mike Jones to ride Ducati Panigale in new DesmoSport Ducati Corse squad jointly managed by Troy Bayliss and Ben Henry

The three 10-lappers to start the 2016 ASBK season should make for captivating viewing, with Herfoss and Stauffer again riding the ageing but still extremely competitive CBR1000RR — a bike that took Herfoss to a slim victory in the 2015 Australasian superbike title over Maxwell.

Herfoss also won last year’s corresponding ASBK opener at Phillip Island, from Hook and Jones.

Meanwhile, new-dad Maxwell has won more races than any other rider at Phillip Island over the last 5-6 years, and Allerton is a never-say-die practitioner as well.

The WorldSBK round will also host the season-opening battles in the Australian supersport and Moto3/125 GP titles, and there will also be support races for historic machines — the two-and four-stroke weapons of yesteryear.

Australian Superbike Entry List – 2016 Round One – Phillip Island – WorldSBK Support Events

1

MichaelJones

QLD

A

Ducati Panigale 1299S

1299

3

RyanHampton

NZ

A

Suzuki GSXR

1000

11

PhilipCzaj

VIC

B

Aprilia RSV4 F

1000

12

GarySmith

SA

C

Yamaha YZF R1

1000

14

GlennAllerton

VIC

A

Yamaha YZFR1M

1000

15

NickMarsh

NSW

B

Aprilia RSV4 RF

1000

16

MichaelBlair

NSW

A

Yamaha R1

1000

17

TroyHerfoss

NSW

A

Honda CBR1000RRSP

1000

18

AshleyManuel

SA

B

Kawasaki ZX10R

1000

20

MattWalters

NSW

A

Kawasaki ZX10R

1000

22

TrentGibson

VIC

A

Yamaha R1

1000

23

PeterBerry

VIC

B

Kawasaki ZX10R

1000

24

RobbieBudgen

QLD

A

Kawasaki ZX10R

1000

25

DanielFalzon

SA

A

Yamaha R1

1000

26

PatriciaFernandez

USA

A

Suzuki GSXR

1000

27

JamieStauffer

NSW

A

Honda CBR1000RRSP

1000

31

JohnHunt

SA

B

Kawasaki ZX10

1000

33

SloanFrost

NZ

A

Suzuki GSXR

1000

38

LindenMagee

QLD

A

BMW HP4

1000

42

JasonIvkovic

SA

B

Suzuki GSXR

1000

47

WayneMaxwell

VIC

A

Yamaha YZFR1M

1000

51

BraydenElliott

NSW

B

Suzuki GSXR

1000

54

AdamChristie

SA

A

Yamaha R1

1000

55

ColinBrooks

VIC

C

Kawasaki ZX10

1000

60

BenBurke

NSW

A

Kawasaki ZX10R

1000

62

KrisKeen

NSW

B

Aprilia RSV4

1000

65

CruHalliday

VIC

A

Yamaha YZFR1M

1000

70

AndrewEccles

WA

C

Honda CBR1000RR

1000

73

TonyKeogh

WA

B

Kawasaki ZX10

1000

77

AdamSenior

WA

A

Honda CBR1000RR

1000

78

NathanSpiteri

VIC

B

Honda CBR SP

1000

88

BrendanSchmidt

VIC

C

Kawasaki ZX10R

1000

98

EvanByles

SA

A

Kawasaki ZX10R

1000

100

ScottWatterson

GBR

D

Yamaha R1M

1000

131

CaillinSimcock-Bailey

VIC

C

Aprilia RSV4RR

1000

Australian Supersport Entry List – 2016 Round One – Phillip Island – WorldSBK Support Events

4

BrendanWilson

VIC

C

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

12

MarkChiodo

VIC

D

Triumph 675R

675

Supersport

13

BenWhite

VIC

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

14

ShaneMaggs

VIC

B

Suzuki GSXR

600

Supersport

15

RyleeSimons

VIC

C

Triumph Daytona

675

Supersport

19

TommyKing

WA

B

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

22

GlennNankervis

VIC

B

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

23

RikiLanyon

QLD

D

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

25

BenBlyth

VIC

B

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

26

MattPrice

WA

B

Honda CBR

600

Supersport

27

NicLiminton

SA

C

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

29

PatrickLi

VIC

C

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

32

DavidRougaley

QLD

C

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

33

JackTwisse

WA

B

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

36

SamClarke

WA

B

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

41

NathanNorris

SA

D

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

44

JessicaWatkins

VIC

B

Suzuki GSXR

600

Supersport

47

JonnyTaylor

VIC

B

Honda CBR600RR

600

Supersport

50

CallumSpriggs

QLD

A

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

52

RyanTaylor

VIC

A

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

61

RhysBelling

VIC

Yamaha YZF-R6

600

Supersport

65

TroyGuenther

QLD

A

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

66

HaydenSpinks

NSW

C

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

69

RyanMasri

NSW

C

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

71

TerryDixon

VIC

C

Yamaha R-6

600

Supersport

72

BradShaw

VIC

B

Kawasaki ZX6-R

600

Supersport

74

CamRussell

VIC

C

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

75

ColinLewis

NSW

B

Kawasaki ZX6

600

Supersport

76

ScottGapps

NSW

C

Kawasaki ZX6

600

Supersport

77

RobbieMenzies

QLD

C

Kawasaki Ninja ZX6

600

Supersport

82

ChrisQuinn

NSW

A

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

83

KyleBuckley

QLD

A

Kawasaki ZX6R

600

Supersport

88

HarrisonCox

QLD

Yamaha R6

600

Supersport

92

TedCollins

VIC

C

Suzuki GSXR

600

Supersport

96

LukeMitchell

NSW

B

Yamaha YZF R6

600

Supersport

97

LukeHorewood

SA

C

Kawasaki Z6X-R

600

Supersport
EVENT INFORMATION & TICKETING

Race formats for WorldSBK have been rejigged for 2016, with the traditional double header race-day Sunday jettisoned in favour of one race each day, with a 22-lap race on Saturday at 3pm and the second 22-lap battle scheduled for Sunday at 3pm (Feb 27 and 28).

WorldSBK will practice and qualify Friday and Saturday, with Superpole moving up the Saturday agenda to a 12.30pm timeslot, ahead of the 3pm race one.

The WorldSSP race at Phillip Island will be held over 21 laps at 1.20pm Sunday, with qualifying Saturday. 

Also competing will be Australian superbikes, Australian supersport, Australian Moto3 and a line-up of Historics, with all world and national categories on track on Sunday to make it a bumper race-day. 

Pre-purchase entry to the 2016 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round, at Phillip Island from February 26-28 will cost $115* for a three-day pass, $80* for a Sunday only pass, while kids 15 and under are free**.   On circuit camping I s just $100* for four nights, with kids 15 and under free**.  

Visit www.worldsbk.com.au for tickets and information.

* Advance ticket prices only, delivery and processing fees may apply.
**Children must be accompanied by a paying adult