News 1 Mar 2023

Second overall a solid start to Jones ASBK title defence

Yamaha Racing Team rider equals strongest round one at Phillip Island.

Image: Foremost Media.

Second overall at Phillip Island was a solid start to the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) title defence of Mike Jones, the reigning champion leaving the opening round ‘satisfied’ with the weekend.

A relatively consistent three races saw Jones keep his nose clean to notch 4-3-3 finishes, seeing him finish tied on points with Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) for second overall, awarded the position on countback.

“I think that we had quite a successful weekend,” Jone recalled to CycleOnline. “To come away in second position overall is a solid result – it’s my best result to start the season I’ve had, so very, very happy with that. Ultimately I rode what I feel was my best, and gave it 100 percent so I leave here satisfied with that.

“But, I suppose we have to really make an effort to try and close that gap to Josh, he’s put a few points into us now, so we are going to have to work hard to try and close that gap down. Ultimately, we are happy with how the team worked and with how I rode, and overall satisfied with the weekend.

The result marks the third time Jones has finished second to commence an ASBK season, with the previous occasions coming at Phillip Island 2016 with DesmoSport Ducati, and 2021 at Winton, also with that outfit.

That said, the now Yamaha Racing Team rider trails current 2023 points leader Josh Waters by 23 points after the McMartin Racing Ducati rider delivered a perfect weekend with pole and three race wins.

“We have got to look at the circuits that we are strong at, we have good data and good information from last year to know where we should be strong, so yeah I think that will definitely be the case,” Jones added.

“We will certainly push ahead at the circuits that we are going to be stronger at, and of course, the circuits at where our rivals are going to be stronger we have to do like what we did this weekend and just try and minimise that points deficit as much as you can.”

With round one of the ASBK Championship in the books, the series moves to Sydney Motorsport Park (SMSP) for the second round of the 2023 season on 24-25 March.