Luke Jones: BSB rider to watch

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Luke Jones scored his first-ever superbike points in his BSB debut at Brands Hatch last week when he finished 12th in race two – virtually first time out on the PR Racing Yamaha R1.

PR Racing won the Privateer Cup in 2007 with Chris Martin.

MCN spoke to Jones about his weekend:
 
How did your deal come about with PR Racing?

We were looking at Superstock 1000 ride with a BMW though Co-ordit but there were problems with finances.

I had other Supersport 600 offers and Superstock 1000 offers but teams wanted money. We’ve run out of cash.

But the team I’m with rang and offered me the ride. I was over the moon.

How much testing did you get on the R1?
We did five laps at Oulton Park, 12 at Cadwell. Last year I did Superstock 600 so jumping onto a superbike was a bit of a shock.

Initially, I was stunned how fast the thing was. It felt like it was ripping my arms off in every gear!

But did you feel that you clicked with the bike straight off?
I never had the chance. We had problems with the electronics - that’s why we had so few laps in testing. I wasn’t really trying in testing.

I was just riding around just to get used to the bike and the speed. Friday at Brands was the first time I actually got my knee down.

You were running well up the leaderboard in wet practice?
I was up there in the wet but only 26th in the dry. But we stayed out on the wets when it dried out.

It was only the first time I’d ridden it in the dry! It’s a really happy team set-up and I’m enjoying myself. Though I was really nervous before qualifying.

What’s it like out on track against the so called ‘works’ bikes?
The places I seem to lose out are under hard acceleration. They have traction control to help them.

We have traction control but it’s not turned right up so I can’t rely on it catching any big moments. I’m trying also to learn about the tyres. I really don’t want to push too hard too soon.


Fact File: Luke Jones

2007 Won British 125 title
2008 Rode Superstock 600 but broke collarbone and missed races
2009 Rode Superstock 600 and finished third overall with five podiums

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin