Australian Outdoor Living – Cube Racing Team rider Mike Jones has wrapped up the 2015 Australian Superbike Championship with a round to spare following his stirring clean sweep at the penultimate event of the year at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains Raceway with Jones placing his Kawasaki ZX10 on the top of the timesheets right across the weekend through practice and qualifying and into the weekend’s two races on Sunday.
A gradual improvement in lap times across the course of Friday’s three practice sessions saw Jones become the quickest rider in all of the 25 minute hit outs, with the fastest time being delivered in the final session with a 54.579, while a narrow gap of just 0.3 seconds separated Mike and second place, reflecting the closeness that is expected at the Symmons Plains circuit.
Qualifying saw Mike step out to again assert his dominance on the feature category at Symmons Plains, claiming pole position in what is his first outing on a Superbike in Tasmania. A 54.314 in the first 30 minute session was enough to cement Jones into the number one placing with the Queenslander opting to sit out of qualifying two in an effort to prepare himself for the Superpole session. An even quicker time of 53.972 secured the Australian Outdoor Living – Cube Racing Team rider the ideal start for Sunday’s race.
A convincing start to Sunday’s program for Mike came by way of securing the win in race one to the tune of 7.6 seconds. On his way to his strong victory, Jones picked up the quickest time of the race with a 54.210 on lap five. A red flag interrupted second and final race of the weekend saw a stoppage after ten laps with the Queenslander leading at that point by 9.6 seconds. With race officials reducing the remaining amount of laps to four, Mike went on to take the victory on combined results in the two part race by 12.8 seconds. The weekend’s results not only handed Jones the round win but also helped to secure him the 2015 Australian Superbike Championship with his points lead now becoming significant enough to secure the number one placing in the standings with one round still remaining at Phillip Island in October.
“We made a good start to the weekend, being the fastest in all three practice sessions on the Australian Outdoor Living – Cube Racing Team Superbike. Throughout the day, we made regular setup improvements which helped to see us drop our lap times overall and that put us in a good position for Saturday’s qualifying.”
“To be able to set such a convincing lap time in qualifying one and then be in a position to sit out of the second session certainly gave us a good package for both the Pirelli Superpole and the impending two races on Sunday. We were fast out of the blocks in qualifying and then went even quicker in Superpole which certainly places us in a good position for racing.”
“It was certainly a big confidence boost to secure such a strong win in race one. While it was unfortunate to have the stoppage in race two, we were able to back up on restart and extend our lead even further. It is such an incredible feeling to be crowned the 2015 Australian Superbike Champion and I can’t thank everyone involved, in particular my team and sponsors, for their support right across this year. We still have one round remaining of the ASBK which I’m committed to wrap up the year on a high. I’ll now also be turning my focus towards the next round of the Australasian Superbike Championship at Wakefield Park to see if I can transfer some of my success into picking up some good results there.”
Mike’s next event is round five of the 2015 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship that takes place at Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn, NSW from September 25-27.
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