Standout STK1000 rookie yet to secure a ride overseas for next year.
A breakout year in the European-based Superstock 1000 FIM Cup series hasn’t been enough to secure Mike Jones a ride for 2018 yet, despite racing to fifth in the final championship standings.
Jones starred in his first full season with Aruba.it Racing Ducati and stood on the podium for the first time in Germany, however with Ducati’s junior team not continuing next year he – like many – will be forced to take funding to a team in a bid to further his European career.
“It’s actually quite difficult,” Jones said of his current position. “I thought how I performed this year it would have been a little bit easier to be able to have another deal for next year. This year was really good with the Aruba.it Racing Ducati team, as they really looked after me. The only issue is that the junior team won’t continue again in 2018, so that essentially leaves me without a ride.
“I’ve been in contact with Ducati at this point in time, but there is not a whole lot going on. It was good with the Aruba.it Racing Ducati team as I didn’t have to bring any money to the team – it was a proper job and they looked after you, but now it’s back to being like any other ride where you have to bring money with you to the team. It’s just a difficult situation really. I think it’s a matter of timing, which has made it difficult, so right now I’m looking and searching for the best opportunity to stay racing in Europe, particularly in the Superstock 1000 championship.”
After a strong finish to this season that saw him prove himself a legitimate front-runner in the hard-fought STK1000 field, Jones is adamant that a second year in the WorldSBK feeder category would see him challenge for the championship now that he has experience on his side.
“I believe I showed potential there and I believe I can win the championship with a second year, however right at the moment there is no deal that has been done,” he added. “I’m chasing sponsorship to be able to secure a ride in the Superstock 1000 championship again for next year.”