Round ten of the British Supersport Championship proved to be a tough one for Triumph ValMoto. The race was run at a furious pace, as dictated by series leader Karl Harris who took another comfortable victory to clinch the 2003 championship title with two rounds yet to run.

Triumph ValMoto's riders Jim Moodie and Craig Jones may have been a little further down the field but rode just as hard as the new champion around the technically demanding 2.17-mile circuit, crossing the line in 12th and 13th place respectively.

Jones' race got off to a less than ideal start when he was forced to switch machines at the very last minute. After noticing a small amount of oil escaping during his sighting lap - later diagnosed as a faulty seal - he elected to change to his number two bike. This meant that he had to start from dead last on the grid, sacrificing eight places before the lights had even changed. It also meant that he took to the track onboard a machine with which he was slightly less comfortable.

Never the less, the 18-year-old remained undeterred and was able to pass ten riders with very little effort. However, once he had disposed of these slower riders the only target available was his team-mate, who remained consistently quick and therefore out of reach. Jones tried his hardest but was unable to catch Moodie, who was having a lonely race of his own some 12 seconds further up the track. However, he was able to pull an eight-second advantage over his nearest pursuer.

"My original grid position wasn't that great," said Jones. "But if I'd started from there I think that I could have been challenging for sixth place by the end of the race. It was frustrating because I was racing to get back the places that I'd lost on the grid, but it was encouraging because I know that in reality the result is a lot better than it looks. My number one bike has more power than the bike I had to use today and I can't wait to get back on it at Brands."

It was plain for every one of the 36,000-strong crowd to see that Jim Moodie was riding exceptionally hard. His times were consistently verging on the existing lap record pace and he repeatedly closed on the riders in front through the faster sections of the circuit, but there was very little he could do to improve upon his position.

"The Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 is a very fast bike and it handles really well through the sweeping high speed corners at Cadwell," commented Moodie. "I had the front set a bit too soft for the tighter sections and had to work really hard to get it to change direction that quickly. My elbow was still pretty sore after crashing yesterday and at one point I thought I was going to have to come in because all the strength was leaving it. But I took a little breather and it got much better, although I still couldn't quite get down to doing low 29s. High 29s weren't a problem - even if I was using my knee to prop the bike up a lot through Old Hall and the Mansfield, but it really wasn't worth crashing just to make up a couple of tenths a lap. We haven't had a great deal of luck recently but to be honest I still think that we're doing very well with a bike that's only been raced ten times."

Triumph ValMoto is next in action at round 11 of the British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch on 12-14 September.

 

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