While every circuit is essentially a new circuit for Triumph ValMoto, Rockingham Motor Speedway is more so than any other.

2003 is only the third year that the venue has been on the British Supersport calendar but this weekend will be the first time that one of Britain's most popular 600cc racing teams has visited it.

Even Triumph ValMoto Team Manager Jack Valentine - a man with vast experience of motorcycle racing - has only been to Rockingham once before. Despite an apparent disadvantage, Valentine is looking forward immensely to pitting his bikes and riders against the challenges of the 1.74-mile circuit.

The team's riders, Jim Moodie and Craig Jones, echo the experience of their manager. Moodie has never raced at Rockingham - let alone aboard a bike as new as the Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600s - and is eager to get to work this weekend.

"The Triumph Daytona 600 is an excellent bike," said Moodie. "This is proved by the fact that the times we put in at Brands would have put us sixth on the Superstock grid. Obviously, I don't really know what to expect this weekend but it doesn't look like there'll be much opportunity for us to use the excellent top-end power and speed of the bikes on the circuit.

"Right now it doesn't make much difference to me whether I finish eighth or 18th, I'll only ever be satisfied with first place. I'm with Triumph ValMoto because I have absolute confidence that we have what it takes to win races and that's what I'll be working towards at Rockingham."

While Moodie shoulders the majority of the development burden, his 18-year-old team-mate Craig Jones has consistently been riding at 100 per cent.

Moodie states that Jones' performances at Oulton Park and Knockhill, among others, have been a true indicator of what the Daytonas are currently capable of. This weekend should see him continue this tradition at Rockingham.

"I quite enjoy riding at Rockingham," said Jones. "It's not the most picturesque of places - there's no scenery like that of Oulton or Cadwell - and it's a little bit stop-and-go, but once you get the feel for it, it's a good circuit. I know we're going to struggle a bit in certain areas but I'm just going to get out there and ride as hard as I can, keep it in line and see what happens."

 

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