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MotoGP Japan: Avintia confirm Mike Jones for Phillip Island

"I really want to thank Avintia Racing and Ducati for this opportunity and I hope to do better at Phillip Island" - Mike Jones.
Mike Jones will follow-up Sunday's MotoGP debut at Motegi by remaining with Avintia Ducati team for his home Australian round.

Jones was hiredas a last-minute replacement for Hector Barbera, standing in for the injured Andrea Iannone at the factory Ducati team.

Despite being thrown in the deep end, the 22-year-old did a commendable job, making steady improvements in each session, avoiding mistakes and qualifying ahead of factory Honda stand-in Hiroshi Aoyama.

Jones went on to finish the race a lap down in 18th and last, but - with Iannone unfit to return - expects to do better at the familiar Phillip Island circuit next weekend.

“I'm very happy and I can't believe the experience of finishing my first ever MotoGP race," he said. "It was fantastic to be part of the Avintia Racing Ducati team this weekend. They worked so hard to help me learn so much, but definitely I gained more experience through the race.

"My start wasn't very good. We tried a practice start in the warm-up this morning and I felt really, really good, but we changed the clutch for the race and when I went to do the race start it felt different, so I really struggled with the start.

"Once I got going, I tried to follow the guys in front of me, but I had a few small problems and I couldn't get the bike stopped like in qualifying. But I just wanted to finish the race, no matter how, and I did it.

"I really want to thank Avintia Racing and Ducati for this opportunity and I hope to do better at Phillip Island.”

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