News 14 Oct 2016

Jones recalls 'incredible' first MotoGP experience at Motegi

Australian makes progress upon debut with Avintia Racing Ducati.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Queensland rising star Mike Jones is on target to qualify for his first MotoGP race at Motegi’s Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday after a positive first outing on Friday.

Drafted into Avintia Racing Ducati late this week, the 2015 Australian Superbike champion was 22nd on the timesheets, within the 107 percent cut-off so far.

Jones, 22, posted a 1m53.473s during 16 laps in FP1 and then improved to a 1m50.955s after another 16 laps following FP2. That placed him 5.804s off Jorge Lorenzo’s top time, but just 2.286s from teammate Loris Baz in P20.

“This is incredible!” Jones beamed. “I do not know how to thank Avintia Racing Ducati and the opportunity they have given me, because the experience I had today was indescribable on my first day on a MotoGP.

“It was a complete novelty, because everything is so different from what I was used, but the experience has been impressive. Everything is new and I learned many things, so I tried to absorb all the information I could.

“It has been quite difficult, but I’m very happy. The best thing was to be here and to share track with the best riders in the world. The worst? I think nothing.”

Jones said he expected further improvements to be made on Saturday as he becomes more familiar with the GP14.2: “I have to learn a little more to use carbon brakes, but I think I can qualify for the race tomorrow in the qualifying.”