Christchurch motorcycle racer Dominic Jones continues to make an impression in the United States.
The 24-year-old, racing for the Four Feathers Yamaha Racing Team, finished 12th and 19th in his two outings in the Sportbike class at the weekend’s round three of the AMA Superbike Championships at the Road Atlanta circuit, Georgia.
Jones (Yamaha R6) is the only New Zealander racing in the US this season and it is his fifth consecutive year in the competition, widely regarded as one of the toughest in the world.
Although lining up against big-name fellow Yamaha racers Dane Westby and Josh Herren and rising Colombian star Martin Cardenas, the young Kiwi has not been overawed.
“He is racing on what are basically stock bikes,” said his mother, Felicity, speaking from Christchurch this week. “He was happy to finish 12th against the big teams but he wasn’t very happy with 19th,” she said.
“He got a shocking start in the second race and, on lap nine, he was in 16th position. He was getting faster each lap and catching the leaders, but then he slipped back again near the end.
“He’s not really featuring in the points because he missed the first two rounds and this was actually his first outing of the season.
“He will be racing the rest of the series and is due back home in October. It’s funny because he’s away so long that he picks up a bit of an accent … kind of an ‘international’ accent because it’s not purely Kiwi and not really American either,” she laughed.
The Jones family are no strangers to motorcycle road racing with Dominic’s father, Peter, a noted engine tuner and classic racer and his younger brothers Cameron and Patrick also at the forefront on the domestic racing scene.
Cameron Jones won the New Zealand 125GP title in 2008 and Patrick Jones placed third in the Pro Twins class in the nationals last season.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com