Craig Jones confirmed his reputation as one of the UK's most exciting young motorcycle racing talents with yet another stunning ride aboard the Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600.

The 18-year-old rider of the number 18 machine took no prisoners as he charged to a sensational fourth place finish at Mondello Park. This translated to sixth place on adjusted times when he was handed a ten-second penalty for a jump start, but did nothing to tarnish the brilliance of his performance.

Determination to succeed is not something that Jones could ever be accused of lacking. Indeed, his eagerness to mix it up with Britain's best Supersport riders was plain to see on the start line when he dropped the clutch a fraction of a second before the lights went green. Well aware that he had jumped the gun, Jones immediately slammed on the brakes and was just able to get back on the gas in time for the off. This minor infraction effectively killed his momentum and added ten seconds to his race time by the end of the first lap, relegating him to 23rd on the timing screens. It also triggered a remarkable comeback that that saw him rocket back up to sixth place during the course of the race.

Jones remained utterly focussed and responded in the only way he knows how - by riding the Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 at 100 per cent. And once he had muscled his bike into fourth place on the road as the pack hustled around the first corner, he never looked back.

Tom Sykes stole fifth place on lap three and went on to finish the race second to Stuart Easton, after championship leader Karl Harris crashed out of contention. Local rider Michael Laverty claimed the final podium position with John Crockford taking fourth on adjusted times. However, after maintaining a lightening quick pace throughout the race, Jones signed off with a spectacular flourish when he emphatically dispatched the Honda rider by getting a phenomenal drive out of the final corner allowed him to make an exquisite pass right before the finish line.

"I knew that I'd been a bit quick off the mark," said Jones. "There was no way I was going to get away with that one and I probably would have been better off just going. In the end I got a terrible start and was just wondering whether they were going to tell me about the penalty on my pit board because it said P4, P5 and then P0. They did, but I just decided to forget about where I might be on adjusted times and get on with the race on the road - I made a mistake but there's no point crying over what could have been. Sixth is still a great result in this company and fourth on the road is incredible. The Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 is really starting to show its potential now and I can't wait for the next round."

Unfortunately, Jim Moodie was unable to muster the same sort of form. The hugely talented Hamilton rider struggled to overcome the combination of a 12th-placed start and a suspect tyre, completing the 16-lap race in 15th place.

"It's really unlucky and very frustrating because everything was going so well here," said Moodie. "I'm feeling much more comfortable on the Triumph ValMoto Daytona now and Craig is giving it everything to show what the bikes are capable of. I was pretty sure that I was going to be able to do the same thing today, but I found it really hard to get past people and find the space to put in the sort of lap times that I needed to get up there with him."

 

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