Round nine of the British Supersport Championship produced some of the most spectacular racing of the season so far. Series leader Karl Harris romped to yet another convincing victory ahead of second placed Stuart Easton, but the following pack proceeded to fight tooth and nail for the remaining positions.

Triumph ValMoto rider Craig Jones was in the thick of the action as an eight-bike freight train bashed fairings around the 2.69-mile Cheshire circuit.

The 18-year-old, who lives in nearby Northwich, showed total commitment throughout the race. However, mounted on his second choice bike, he had to work extremely hard to stay in the fight and finished the race a creditable ninth.

"I broke my number one bike in a silly crash during morning warm-up," said Jones. "That was the one that I'd been riding yesterday. It had the new engine that Steve [Mellor] and the boys have been working on back at the workshop, fitted into the chassis that I felt most comfortable on and was absolutely mega. The engine was too dirty to risk running in the race, so I went out on my spare. The difference in handling and acceleration was really noticeable and it took me a few laps of the race to get used to riding that bike again.

"I got boxed in at the start and lost out a bit, but once I got into a rhythm I could run with the pack. I had to push pretty hard though and I was losing the front at every corner with my foot was flying off the peg as I tried to save it on my knee. It was still fairly forgiving and I was getting away with it, but if I'd pushed any harder, I'd have crashed, so I decided to just settle for the points. I was fighting all the way to match the pack for pace, but if I'd been on my number one bike, I'd have beaten them."

Team-mate Jim Moodie was determined to get a good result at Oulton Park and had been right on the tail of his young team-mate during the opening stages of the race. The safety car came out on lap five while debris from Jamie Robinson's stricken Yamaha was cleared from the track. Three laps later, it pulled into pit lane and released the bikes, but Moodie had lost-out due to two riders ahead of him not taking advantage of the opportunity to close up on the machines in front of them. Unfortunately, the Triumph ValMoto rider was not able to respond because his race came to a premature end when gremlins attacked his bike just moments later and it rolled to a halt at Old Hall.

"I don't know what happened," said Moodie. "The bike just cut out and that was that for me. It's just one of those things. But what did wind me up was, just before that happened there were a couple of riders who were acting like they were asleep behind the pace car - I could see everyone else getting away and there was nothing I could do about it.

"The Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 is handling really well - so well that we're going to have modify the foot rests to stop them grinding out because you can crank it over so far, but we definitely need the extra punch that the new engine gave Craig yesterday. We were running at pretty much the same pace as the lads further up the race order - the only difference is that we were right on the limit while we were doing it. Of course, the results aren't exactly what we wanted, but we're making progress with the bikes and overall we've had a pretty positive round."

 

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