Jones recalled by Avintia for Australian Grand Prix
Mike Jones will remain with the Avintia Ducati squad for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island following his MotoGP debut in Motegi.
The 22-year-old Australian received a late call up to the satellite Ducati squad for last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix after regular rider Hector Barbera was selected to replace the injured Andrea Iannone on the factory Ducati.
Wth Iannone continuing his recovery from a fractured vertebra, Barbera will stand in for the Italian at Phillip Island, which in turn has seen Jones offered a second outing in front of his home crowd.
Despite the late call-up, Jones enjoyed a clean premier class debut at Motegi, finishing Sunday’s 24 lap race in 18th position.
The 2015 Australian Superbike champion was encouraged by his display on the more powerful machinery and is looking forward to competing at Phillip Island.
Jones’ inclusion will see two Australians on the grid with the Queenslander set to compete alongside Marc VDS Honda rider Jack Miller.
“I’m very happy and I can’t believe the experience of finishing my first ever MotoGP race,” said Jones.
“It was fantastic to be part of the Avintia Racing Ducati team this weekend.
“They worked so hard to help me learn so much, but definitely I gained more experience through the race.
“Once I got going, I tried to follow the guys in front of me, but I had a few small problems and I couldn’t get the bike stopped like in qualifying.
“But I just wanted to finish the race, no matter how, and I did it. I really want to thank Avintia Racing and Ducati for this opportunity and I hope to do it better at Phillip Island.”
Opening practice at Phillip Island is scheduled for Friday at 0955 local time.