MOTOR SPORT: CRAIG Jones completed the most exciting overtaking manoeuvre of his life on Sunday when he became the new leader of the British Supersport Championship.
He ran second in the fifth-round meeting at Ireland's Mondello Park course. It was an impressive performance in a hotly contested race that ended with him runner-up on the day but a point ahead in the quest for the big prize.
Northpoint Honda Racing's Jones, 20, from Greenbank, was locked in a thrilling tussle with Spanish rival Pere Riba, who he pushed into third.
Jones, who could only salvage ninth position on the grid, said: 'I had a few problems during qualifying and only managed a third-row start, which meant I had left myself with a lot of work to do.
'As the lights changed I got my head down and managed to work through the field.
'I made a few daring passing manoeuvres, which thankfully paid off.
'I'm glad I managed to get on the podium and now I'm leading the Championship, which is a huge bonus.'
The race between Jones and Riba was so intense their bikes touched barings at one point. And it was Jones' last lap that brought glory, though he still chases the win he craves this season.
So far he has two fourths, including last time out at Oulton Park a fortnight ago, and two thirds.
Jones, who now lives in Peterborough, was ninth in the table only two meetings ago. Eight rounds remain and dad Steve said: 'It's a marathon, not a sprint.'
The race was won by Tom Sykes on a Suzuki.
Team Principle Gary Ekerold said: 'Taking the lead in the Championship has been our priority. It's been a fantastic team effort and we are going to be a force to be reckoned with.'
The next round of the Championship is at Croft on June 5.