As the days until round four are marked off the calendar, this week has proven vital for young DesmoSport Ducati Rider Mike Jones, who will take to the grid for the fourth round of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli this weekend, June 3-5 at Barbagallo Raceway.
Although a champion in his own right, the start of the year has proved challenging for young Jones. With a new team and a new bike, Jones has had to adjust to the power of the DesmoSport Ducati 1299 Panegale S this year after transitioning from his Kawasaki last year.
But despite some challenges, Jones has rose to the occasion in fine form tuning in his Ducati, locking down podium finishes in a bid to defend his 2015 title. Jones has today shared that he is feeling confident for round four of the ASBK after testing earlier this week at Barbagallo Raceway.
“It was awesome to get back on the track on Saturday after testing, Barbagallo is a circuit I really like,” Jones shared.
“It was a change since I last rode the track on my Kawasaki, and now jumping onto the DesmoSport Ducati, but it was a lot of fun.
“I am feeling confident for round four after last weekend’s testing. We made a lot of progress and the bike felt really nice and really smooth around the circuit. Being able to get the practice session in ahead of round four has definitely given me a confidence booster for this weekend,” Jones concluded.
Jones is amongst the few riders’ out on track this weekend who has raced around Barbagallo with the ASBK last year, and when asked he shared that he believes it will help him carry a slight advantage into round four this weekend.
“I think being one of the few competitors who rode at Barbagllo last year with the ASBK Championship the circuit is relatively fresh for me in comparison to some of the other guys who haven’t ridden the circuit in a while,” said Jones.
“It should be a little bit of an advantage but of course the other guys are going to be quick no matter what.
“I think this round will be one of my best chances of getting on the top step of the podium. Obviously the more time I spend on the Ducati the more comfortable I get, and getting into the second half of the season I think we are going to start seeing some really good results.” Said Jones.
With the DesmoSport Ducati Team and Jones working hard together, their focus is well and truly on this weekend, and also shared that the Thursday practice will prove vital for bike set up ahead of this weekend’s racing.
“Our DesmoSport Ducati team are working really well together. The main thing that we work on, on the bike are the suspension and geometry set up. We are always tweaking and tuning the Ohlins suspension and making lots of little improvements to the bike,” said Jones.
“We have recently come up with a new development in the rear shock which has made a big, massive change to the bike and it feels a lot better to ride. As always Ben and Troy are working on the bike and making it as quick as it can be.
“And it is! It’s quick enough to win races, so it’s just a matter of me getting out there and doing the job now!” Jones concluded.
Before suiting up on Friday for the kick off of round four, Jones will make a guest appearance along with his Ducati machine this Thursday night, the 2nd of June at The Breakwater at Hillarys Boat Harbour, alongside his fellow competitors, for a Meet and Greet experience for ASBK fans.
For more information on the Meet and Greet head to www.asbk.com.au