With just days to go until the official start of the 2003 British Supersport Championship, Jack Valentine is quietly confident about the Triumph ValMoto's prospects at their Silverstone race debut.

The Manchester-based team manager has already proved that the new 600 will be a rising force after riders Jim Moodie and Craig Jones acquitted themselves admirably at the BSB pre-season test, at Donington Park, last weekend.

"Donington was most encouraging," said Valentine. "We didn't have any problems with the Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600s and I think that we surprised quite a lot of people with how competitive we were at such an early stage. We've spent the last few days making sure that we have four bikes ready for Silverstone. These will form the basis of our package for the first few rounds while development work continues on two further machines back at the workshop.

"The whole team has worked really hard on this project and we can't wait for Silverstone," he added. "Both our riders know the track well and the minor layout changes shouldn't cause any problems. My next goal, as a team manager, is to get the Daytona 600s on the front row of the grid but I'm just taking one step at a time."

The 2.25-mile Silverstone International Circuit is a fast and demanding track but one that encourages good, close racing. However, that was not the case for Jim Moodie last year when he blitzed the opposition to win the first race of 2002 by a comfortable margin. It was a feat that he will hope to repeat this Sunday.

"I'm itching to get back racing," admitted Moodie. "It was good to get out on the track with the other bikes and riders during the test, but I was working on settings and going round on my own most of the time so I didn't really get the chance to measure myself against any of my serious championship rivals. However, testing and racing are two very different things and I guarantee that I'll be going all-out for the win on Sunday."

Team-mate Jones is equally optimistic about his chances for the first round. The 18-year-old reigning Junior Superstock Champion also gained a great deal from the pre-season test and is aiming to impress during his first British Supersport Championship race.

"There's no reason whatsoever why I shouldn't be able to run at the front all weekend," said Jones. "Silverstone is not quite as difficult as Donington set-up-wise - it's more about the bikes and the riders. My Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 feels excellent and I'm fully fit - I just can't wait to get out there and show what we can do."



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