Dan Jones Sachsenring

Blog | Dan Jones in action all summer but out of action for Brno

Hi Everyone,

I've had a very busy summer, riding every weekend. Here's what I've been getting up to,

I had the 3rd round of the Junior World Championships, the heat meant I struggled all weekend as I had not experienced this before. But in race one I finished 18th from 23rd on the grid and in race 2 I finished 13th from 26th. Which meant I had picked up my first Junior World Championship points.

The weekend after Catalunya, we visited Assen for round 2 of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. I had been to Assen before so I could really focus on my riding instead of learning the track, from Jerez I had progressed a lot, I saw myself in P16 in FP1 and P9 in FP2, I was really happy with the bike and how things were going.

For qualifying I felt I could get my best result yet, but as we headed out for qualifying it started to rain. This meant we were on dry tires but on a damp track, I knew I had more races to come and I didn't want to injure myself for a place on the grid. I managed to stay safe and finish in P15, which was still my best qualifying result. I was really happy with this as it was so close as well, I knew there would be a big group of us for the races.

The conditions for race 1 were very similar to the conditions in free practice, so I was confident that I could get a good result. The opening laps were difficult as we were all cautious as we hadn't rode in the dry since free practice, but as the race went on we all got more comfortable and a big group formed. I stayed with the group for 10 laps, but just dropped off the back of it as the race came to its closing stages. I crossed the line in P13, this meant I had got my first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup points. I was really happy with this result.

For race 2 the conditions were really difficult, we were on wet tires but with a dry track. The start of the race was really difficult as no one knew how the track conditions were. As the race went on a big group formed, we were battling for 6th place. I really wanted to stay with the group for the entire race, I managed to do so which seen me cross the like in P10, I was very happy with this result as I never expected it.

The weekend after Assen we were at the Sachsenring for round 3 of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, I had been to the Sachsenring once before so I was confident we could have another weekend like Assen. In FP1 it was all about re familiarising myself with the track, the conditions were good so we could get a really good feel for it. I finished FP1 in P17, which I was happy with. In FP2 the pace was upped, with qualifying on the horizon we knew we had to get a good feel for it, my feeling with the track and bike was really good. I knew I had more to come for qualifying, I ended FP2 in P15, which I was happy with.

 

photo J@ss Fotografie

For qualifying my plan was to use the group for slipstream which would help me get my best qualifying result, I managed to do this plan and it worked really well. I finished qualifying in P11, by far my best qualifying result this year.

For race 1 the conditions were really poor, we had a delayed start due to a heavy down pour. I had done a lot of miles in the wet this year so I was confident I could get a good result, at the start of the race I had a bad feeling. But as the race went on I got more and more comfortable, at the end I was lapping only 0.6 seconds off the leaders. But it was too late, I crossed the line in P14, which was disappointing in my eyes because I knew I could've achieved a lot more.

The conditions in race 2 were a lot better, it was completely dry. I was confident in what I could do as I had a really good qualifying. The race start was good, I was in a group of 10 for 6th place, I dipped inside the top 10 whilst battling. On lap 12 a gap formed from the rider in front of me to the battle for 6th, so I passed him and worked at catching the group again. Going in to turn 12 I pushed my luck and lost the front, crashing out of 11th place. My fastest lap time was only 0.6 seconds off the fastest lap time, I was really happy with how my riding had improved. But I was disappointed not to finish the race.

The following weekend I visited Valencia for round 4 of the Junior World Championship. The weekend went really well, showing good pace on all days. I finished race 1 in P15, battling for 13th place. But in race 2 I was in 16th and closing the battle for 12th, I pushed too much and high sided out of the last corner. I was really disappointed with this because it could have been another points finish.

To finish off a busy summer I had the 5th round of the Junior World Championship at Estoril. The weekend was difficult, I had good pace during the two days of practice. But under performed in qualifying and ended up in P20. I was P7 in Q2 but with a faster track in Q1 I never improved. The start of the race was really good, I made 10 places in 4 laps. But on lap 5, I low sided at turn 3. The rider behind me crashed in to my arm and snapped my humerus, I was gutted because it could have been a top 10 finish which is was I was hoping for.

I will recover as fast as I can and be back stronger,

See you soon,

Dan