MOTORSPORT: TRIUMPH Valmoto rider Craig Jones put a troubled qualifying behind him to power his 600cc machine to a creditable eighth at the fourth British Supersport round on a dramatic day at Oulton Park on Monday.
The main Superbike event grabbed the national headlines for the amazing escape of Ducati rider Vince Whittle, whose bike exploded into a massive fireball shortly after the start. The bike, aflame, slid 150 yards down the track.
The races themselves were mundane by comparison, but Jones, the 19-year-old Greenbank flyer, started well and was as high as fourth at the end of the first lap of a 16-lap race, before rear tyre problems forced him to back off the pace.
Sheffield's Karl Harris took the win on his Honda after a race-long duel with Ducati's Michael Laverty, with Honda-mounted Jay Vincent third.
After the race, Jones said qualifying proved so difficult he was just pleased to have got in the points.
He said: 'I've struggled for grip all weekend to be honest and, no matter what we tried, we just couldn't seem to improve things.
'I decided to ride for a decent points finish and not throw the bike down the road. After the troubles of qualifying, I made a great start but once I lost the tow from the front two, I couldn't quite keep pace. As the race went on, the rear tyre was losing grip.'
He added: 'There are plenty of rounds to go and I know we will improve as the season goes on. We are back at Oulton Park in September and by then I want to have had a few podium finishes at the very least.'