So far, 2003 has presented Jack Valentine's racing management company ValMoto with a hectic schedule of testing, development work and racing.

This week will also offer little respite for the well-respected Lancastrian and his highly skilled team of engineers and technicians.

The call to arms for the fifth round of the British Supersport Championship means that it is time to crate up the Jim Moodie and Craig Jones' full factory Triumph Daytona 600s and head north to Knockhill.

Knockhill will be a significant round for Triumph ValMoto for a variety of reasons. The British team will arrive at the Scottish circuit on a high after Craig Jones superb performance at Oulton Park and the remarkable success of the North West 200.

This weekend also marks the welcome return of one of Scotland's most famous riders to his home circuit. Jim Moodie has an enormous following, not just in his homeland but also worldwide. However, the 37-year-old double British champion and eight-time TT winner is sure to be well supported at the three-day event, especially so this year because he will be riding Triumph's first factory race bike in 30-years.

"I always love racing at Knockhill," said the man affectionately referred to as Mad Dog. "It's great to race in front of Scottish crowds and the circuit always produces really good racing. I've had some great results there in the past and we've proved that the Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 can cut it in the race."

"My only reservation is that unlike some of the other teams," he continued, "we haven't tested at Knockhill before, so qualifying could be quite hard work. The track surface is pretty bumpy which might be tricky to find the right set-up in such a short space of time, but the bike gets better at every meeting and no matter what, I'll be trying really hard to put on a good show and get a solid result in Scotland. We just need a little bit of luck."

The team's second rider Craig Jones did not compete at the Northern Irish public roads event, however, his exceptional ride at the previous round of the domestic championship remains fresh in the mind of those who witnessed it and hopes are high that he can progress further at Knockhill.

"I gained a lot of confidence at Oulton Park," said the 18-year-old reigning Junior Superstock Champion. "We still don't have a perfect set-up for the Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 but it's good enough to ride hard. You do need a certain amount of power at Knockhill mainly because of the tight hairpin and uphill charge to the finish line, but it's also a bit of a rider's circuit. The Triumph ValMoto Daytona is still in development so I'm realistic about my chances this year but I won there in 2001 and I reckon that I can give a lot of the established machines a run for their money."

Round five of the British Supersport Championship will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2 at 14.50, with deferred highlight shown on BBC Grandstand the following Saturday.

 

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