Craig Jones' point blank refusal to allow development teething troubles to spoil a good ride has placed him at the head of the second row for Sunday's British Supersport Championship race at Mondello Park.

His Triumph ValMoto team-mate Jim Moodie, on the other hand, opted to spend the majority of the two sessions searching for better settings, and this was reflected in his subsequent starting position of 12th.

He had been on target to follow Jones into the upper reaches of the grid, but was unable to make the most of his stickiest Pirelli rubber due to a combination of unfortunate events.

Jones wasted no time in getting down to business. By the time rain fell on the third lap of the first session, the 18-year-old from Northwich had already recorded a time that was good for third place on the provisional grid.

The weather cleared for afternoon qualifying and Jones responded by knocking over two seconds off his previous best, making him the second fastest rider on track. The final few laps had the majority of riders pitting for a switch to softer tyres and the pace picked up substantially. Just before the heavens opened Stuart Easton snatched pole with an outrageously quick lap time of 1m 43.828s.

"I reckon that was my best qualifying performance so far," said Jones. "Obviously, it was amazing to get pole at Knockhill, but today I was running with the championship leaders in the dry. I was a little bit unlucky at the end of the session because I was on a real fast lap until another rider who'd gone across the grass popped back onto the track right in front of me and messed it up. I would've had enough time to get another couple of laps in but then it started to rain. The front row would have been nice, but I think I can definitely do something with a fifth place start."

Jim Moodie's final grid position definitely went against the run of play. After very quickly getting to grips with the Mondello Park circuit, he had been steadily improving his lap times only to have his hard work scuppered in the dying moments of qualifying.

"I don't like being on the third row," said Moodie. "It's not the end of the world, but it is a little annoying because things were coming together pretty well until I came in for a softer rear tyre. I went back out and was on a flier, but a couple of crashes kicked off around me and the tyre got wasted. I came back in for another, but just as I headed off down pit lane, it started to spot with rain and that was that. Hopefully I'll get a little bit of luck tomorrow and make up a few of those places."

 

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