News 21 Jun 2023

'I've got to push them to their absolute limit' - Jones

YRT rider a spanner in the works for the 2023 ASBK title fight.

Image: Foremost Media.

A solid weekend in Darwin for Mike Jones elevated him to third in the 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) standings, but with a 59-point deficit to Josh Waters, the reigning champion acknowledges the need to push the leaders into a mistake if he is to claw back into contention.

Misfortune suffered in Sydney during round two was costly for Jones and his title ambitions, but the Yamaha Racing Team rider has finished second in all but one of the races contested since to move his way forward in the standings.

After 4-2-2 results at Hidden Valley, the Queensland-based rider is 51 points from Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) in second and continues to demonstrate that he is still a threat for race wins this season.

The scoring system used in ASBK pays great dividends to riders that can win races, with 25 points awarded to first, 20 for second and 18 for third. Jones capability to fight for P1 will certainly throw a spanner in the works to the outcome of this season, as he looks to remain focused on himself and the job at hand amidst the controversy between Penrite Honda Racing and leaders McMartin Racing Ducati.

“To be honest I was a little bit obvious to it all, I didn’t get involved and none of it was to do with me really,” Jones said to CycleOnline. “My focus is just on what I am doing and trying to maximise my performance and try to focus on winning the race, or at the least challenging for the race win.

“Moving onto the points championship for Josh [Waters] and Troy [Herfoss], I’m a few points back from those guys and not in the hunt at the moment. But I have got the speed, I proved that last year and I proved that in the races this year, we’ve got the speed to be there and challenge for the wins and certainly going to through a spanner in the works for those guys.

“They are going to have to race a guy that they have to decide whether it is worthwhile trying to beat me, or whether they consolidate and try and just grab some points so they can just keep their championship alive.

“In my mind though, I’ve got to push them to their absolute limit in the hope that they make a mistake, and that is the only way probably that I am going to be able to find myself back in the hunt for the championship.”

Three rounds remain in the 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), with Morgan Park up next between 14-16 July.