Briton Craig Jones will be digging deep into his reserves to battle for a top six position in the second round of the World Supersport Championship at Phillip Island in Australia after qualifying on the third row in 12th place.
The title contender from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, admits that he has not got to grips with the fast and flowing 4445m track yet. He set his qualifying time on a race tyre – while most other riders used a sticky qualifying tyre - which means he has genuine pace to compete for the top six.
Parkalgar Honda Portuguese racer Miguel Praia continued his steady improvement in lap time during qualification, ending up 29th. He believes there is more to come once he gels with the circuit. Australian Honda rider Andrew Pitt is on pole position.
“It has been a frustrating couple of days," said Jones. "The Qatar circuit clicked with me and I immediately found a fast line around and was able to get on the podium. Phillip Island is not like that and no matter how hard I am working, it is difficult to find time. No previous testing here is playing against us.
“On the positive side we are making a small change to my Parkalgar Honda for the race that will help it through the corners. On a race tyre there are a lot of us close together but I think I can achieve a top five, particularly if I can figure a way around the track. The bike’s great, so I’ve got to dig deep and go for the result.”