Qualifying for the sixth round of the British Supersport Championship provided the Triumph ValMoto riders and technicians with plenty of food for thought. Brands Hatch is virgin territory for the fledgling factory squad and the team's riders Jim Moodie and Craig Jones struggled to match the furious pace set by the championship frontrunners.

Dean Thomas claimed pole position with a best time of 1m 29.587s, but Moodie and Jones were forced to settle for fourth row on the grid for tomorrow's race while the team searches for solutions to the unique challenges presented by the legendary 2.6-mile circuit.

The men behind Triumph ValMoto have extensive knowledge of Brands Hatch, however this is the first time that they have competed there with the newest addition to Triumph's range - the Daytona 600. With no existing data and only limited development time, the team knew that there would be issues to overcome if they were to build on the pole position achieved by Craig Jones at the previous round at Knockhill.

Despite crashing heavily in the first qualifying session, Jones was the quicker of the two Triumph ValMoto riders today, taking 15th place just 0.1 seconds ahead of his team-mate.

"The Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 as a whole is working really well," said Jones. "But this circuit has showed up a couple of areas for improvement that could have made all the difference today. The steep uphill sections and third gear corners mean that you need a lot of mid-range power and that's something that we still need to work on. It's frustrating to be so far back on the grid but I'm just going to get on with it and I'm sure I can make a bigger impression under race conditions."

Jim Moodie echoed the sentiments of his team-mate: 2Things just didn't come together for us today," he said. "Top-end speed is not a problem - my bike is just as fast as Karl Harris' Honda but we're just lacking that extra bit of punch out of the corners. We were clocking about two miles per hour faster through the speed traps yesterday but the temperature was lower then and I think the engines might be running a bit rich in the heat. We've got a few things to think about tonight and hopefully we'll come back stronger tomorrow."

 

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