Australian rider Mike Jones admits his first experience of a MotoGP machine was an 'eye opener' as he rode the Avintia Racing Ducati for the first time at the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi on Friday.
Jones, the 2015 Australian Superbike champion, has taken regular rider Hector Barbera's seat in the team alongside Loris Baz this weekend, with Barbera granted the chance to ride the factory Ducati GP16 as he fills in for the injured Andrea Iannone.
“The first day was incredible! I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity given to me by Avintia Racing and Ducati and I'm just absolutely amazed by the experience I had here on my first day with a MotoGP bike. It's been quite an eye opener, that's for sure,” said Jones of the GP14.2.
“Everything is very different from what I'm used to, but it is an amazing experience. I got so much learning to do, because everything is new and I'm trying to absorb as much information as I possible can. It is quite difficult, but I couldn't be happier.
“Just being here and being able to ride with the best riders of the world is the best thing ever. I missed some sleep but I don't care! The target for tomorrow in qualifying is to qualify for the race and I really think I can do that.”
Jones brought up the rear of the field in free practice in 22nd place with a lap in 1m 50.955s, which left him 5.8 seconds off the pace of Friday frontrunner Jorge Lorenzo on the factory Movistar Yamaha.