JESSE Jones believes he has podium finishes in his grasp this season following a solid opening weekend to the TriStar R&G Triple Challenge season.
The Basildon teenager took two fourths in the dry at Brands Hatch and a 10th in the wet at the Kent track to secure an early fifth place in the championship.
Those performances have left the 17-year-old rider in an upbeat mood ahead of the second round at Oulton Park in early May.
“We have definetely hit the ground running and I feel a lot more experienced and confident this season,” said Jones, who was a rookie in the championship last year after stepping up from Mini Twins.
“I really want to pull off a couple of podiums and possibly get a race win.
“We had a lot of mechanical problems in testing but the bike is a big improvement on last year and we are already pretty close to the leaders.”
Jones qualified his Ice Watch by T3-Racing Triumph in sixth place on Brands’ Indy circuit.
He challenged throughtout the race but had to settle for fourth place after being pipped coming out of Clearways by Scott Petchers for the final podium position.
Sunday’s morning warm-up was hampered by a highside crash for Jones in the wet on his first lap due to not having a soft enough set up on the bike.
He suffered a few bruises but was OK to start from fourth. However, lack of track time in the wet saw him slip to 10th. And with many rivals coming off on the slippery surface Jones decided to play it safe to get as many points as possible.
Jones started Monday’s race from 13th but carved his way through the field to finish the first lap in sixth in dry conditions.
He was up to fourth by the second lap but an error with the pit board meant Jones did not realise he had a 10-second gap over the rider behind him and he drove defensively rather than challenge for a podium.
Jones heads to Cheshire’s Oulton Park this weekend for am official test session and is hoping to find a good set up for when he returns over the May bank holiday weekend for the second round.
The Essex rider thanked his sponsors for their support and is looking for additional support to help fund the second half of his season. Jones can be contacted at email@example.com