With Troy Bayliss opting to take some rest-time to aid his recovery from his recent surgery from injuries sustained at the first ASBK round at Phillip Island, the in-form MotoGP Wildcard Mike Jones, who has yet to confirm a ride overseas for 2019, is in the perfect position to re-join the team that he rode for in their inaugural season in the ASBK back in 2016.
Jones recently joined ASBK regulars for testing at Morgan Park, and is of course is no stranger to Ducati machinery, and took little time get back in the groove. The team elected to not run a transponder, thus no times were registered on the circuit timing system, but talk around the paddock suggested that Jones might have actually undercut Maxwell by two-tenths-of-a-second to end the day fastest, unofficially at least…
“We’re obviously disappointed that Troy can’t line up on the grid next weekend, but we’re fortunate to be able to call on Mike (Jones) to step in. Mike is in great form right now, setting the fastest Australian Superbike lap at Phillip Island during round one, and it was great to have him back on the bike in testing last week. We really couldn’t ask for more credentialed rider to ride the Panigale FE, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Mike can do for us at round two.”
“While it’s unfortunate Troy can’t ride, I’m grateful for the opportunity to join DesmoSport Ducati. I initially tested the bike at Wakefield Park a week ago to help work on the set-up in preparation for Troy to race, and I was really happy with both the bike and the progress we made. The extra laps are certainly going to benefit for the race weekend, and I’m really looking forward to racing round two on the Panigale FE.”
“The surgery on my finger was successful, but after trying to ride the bike this week, it just hasn’t had enough time to heal, making it impossible for me to ride at speed. It’s tough watching another racer on your bike, but Mike is a part of the DesmoSport family. He’s riding really well, looked really comfortable on the bike in testing and has given the team some great feedback to keep improving already, so although it’s not an ideal situation, I’m happy to have someone of Mike’s calibre be able to step in for me.”
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