Jim Moodie proved to be the fastest rider in the Triumph ValMoto stable during qualifying for round three of the British Supersport Championship at Thruxton, working his way up to 11th - his best grid position of the season so far.

His younger team-mate Craig Jones had, until Saturday, faired better than the Scot but a heavy crash mid-way through the second session put paid to the 18-year-old's chances of breaking into the top ten and forced him to settle for 19th place on the grid.

Moodie's best time of 1:19.064 was just four-thousandths of a second outside the lap record, however the pace this year is incredibly hot - as illustrated by the reigning Supersport Champion Stuart Easton, who lapped 1.8 seconds faster than any Supersport rider had previously managed, on his way to pole position for Sunday's race. In total ten riders managed to lap the 2.357-mile circuit in less than 1:19 seconds. Just one second lay between Moodie and a front row start.

"I've got to admit that I was really hoping for a second row start," admitted Moodie, "but I suppose that I should really look on this as another step in the right direction. I may be disappointed but I'm certainly not disheartened because I know that the only things that prevented me from achieving my goal were a few niggly little problems and nothing serious.

"We're only having to make minor tweaks but they are costing us time in practice and qualifying. For example we couldn't get my spare set up quite the same as my number one bike. We're just trying to catch up and the fact that we're developing the Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 at the same time makes the task a little more complex. But at the end of the day I've just gone a second faster around here than I ever have before, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the race and hopefully collecting a decent amount of points."

Jones remained typically unflustered by his unexpected grid position. The calm and collected Northwich-based rider simply put this fifth row start down to bad luck and remains confident that he can rectify the situation once the lights go green.

"I was building up to a really good lap before I crashed," said Jones. "I'd been doing the same times on a race tyre as I had on a qualifier and was definitely getting quicker, but I got cut up by another rider and ended up losing it. It's pretty frustrating and I suppose that I've got a lot of work to do in the race but tomorrow's another day. I'm going to give it 100% and should be able to pick up quite a few places at the start and then fight my way through to a solid finish."

 

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