Triumph ValMoto's second foray into international competition had a positive conclusion at Silverstone. The team's teenage rider Craig Jones scored his - and Triumph's - first ever World Supersport Championship points with a strong 12th place finish in a race against the world's best Supersport bikes and riders.

Jones' race result was a solid achievement - especially considering that he was forced to start from the fifth row of the grid. A successful first qualifying session, had the #81 Daytona 600 in 13th place, with further improvement likely. However, a minor technical problem meant that Jones had to go out on his spare bike - which had different settings - for the second session. As a result, the final minutes saw him slip further down the order instead of improving his times.

However, Jones refused to be disheartened by his unfortunate grid position of 19th and clawed back as many places as possible during the race. He put in the fifth fastest lap and was able to pass nine other riders, including former World Champion St?phane Chambon and hold tenth place for some time.

In the closing stages of the race, Chambon and Max Neukirchner slipped past. Nevertheless, Jones remained calm and held fast to bring the Union Jack emblazoned Triumph home in 12th place, in front of the British crowd and
ahead of many World Supersport regulars.

"I'm pleased with 12th considering that I started pretty far down the grid," said Jones. "It's a shame about qualifying, because we'd have been on for a really good result, but the race itself was encouraging.

"The Triumph ValMoto Daytona 600 definitely has the pace and it was good to score my first world championship points, so now I'm looking forward to the rest of the British championship and also to my next World Supersport race at Brands Hatch."

Team Manager Jack Valentine was pleased with his young rider's performance amid such stiff competition.

"First qualifying went perfectly to plan," he said. "Jonesy was building up his speed as we got the bike dialled in, but unfortunately we had a problem with his number one bike in the final session and he had to switch to his second bike. This didn't leave us with any time to transfer the good settings across and he couldn't get comfortable enough to improve his times any further."

"We had the bike set up how he liked for the race and I think he did really well. He was lapping a second faster than in qualifying and rode professionally to get a good result.

"We're racing in the British championship at Brands Hatch this weekend and the data we get there will be very useful for when we compete on the same circuit during the European World Supersport round in August."

 

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