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A Tribute to Craig Jones : 1985 - 2008


By: Neil Everett | Published 08 August 2008, 16:05 | Views: 5,479 | tags: craig jones, honda, parkulgar, world supersport championship, brands hatch
In the early hours of Monday morning the world of motorsport went into mourning when the news broke that one of the brightest young talents on the world scene had succumbed to the injuries that he suffered in the tragic accident on Sunday at Brands Hatch.
Craig Jones or Jonesy, as he was affectionately known to the fans was a down to earth, hard working, genuine lad, who was loved by other members of the paddock as much as he was by the racing fans around the world. With the level of competition at an all time high at the moment in the paddock, riders don’t always feel comfortable mingling with each other, however Craig was a rider that the paddock felt comfortable to talk to over a cuppa. World and National champions all felt at ease with Jonesy in his motorhome in the friendly and relaxed environment.

Craig was just as approachable when it came to the fans. He always had time for a picture and a chat with the thousands of fans who would approach him. Whether at the track or just out and about Jonesy would make time and made everyone he met, leave with an extra bounce in their step.

As approachable as Craig was, when the visor came down he was a fierce competitor on the track. His unique style of bike control was second to none. Several times over the course of the current season, Jones had managed to use his late breaking style of backing the bike into the corners to maintain contact with the more powerful semi-Factory bikes in the ultra competitive World Supersport class. It was spectacular to watch and the crowd loved it. Jonesy’s bike was always slower than his competitors on the straights, however he would never admit defeat and would wow the crowd with moves that just shouldn’t be possible.

Craig’s committed style had already paid dividends in his career with, three titles (British Junior Mini Moto, British Senior Mini Moto and British Junior Superstock) and after a successful debut season in World Supersport, where he picked up three podium finishes and managed to finish an impressive fifth place in the overall championship, Jones was hoping for even better in 2008. He may even have been robbed of his maiden win in the class at Vallelunga in 2007, when the race was red flagged whilst Jones competed in a race long battle with 2007 World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu for the lead.

Jones headed into the first of his two home rounds in a confident mindset. A year earlier Jones had been leading the race, before an accident saw him slide off into the gravel trap. In 2008 he was determined to go one step further, and this was apparent right off the bat from Friday practise with Rea and Jones trading best times in the first qualifying session.

When Sunday arrived, Jones was in a position to battle for the lead and he was focused on the job at hand. He was at the front and battling in both parts of the ill fated race and in the restart managed to lead the race several times. The race was stopped quickly following the accident at clark curve and Craig received extensive medical assistance at the track before being flown to the Royal London Hospital in a critical condition.

Over the course of Sunday night, web forums everywhere were flooded with messages of concern about the 23 year olds condition, with many praying and wishing him a speedy recovery. Unfortunately Craig’s condition didn’t improve and he passed away in the early hours of Monday morning.

You only have to look any motorbike web forums currently to see the high level of regard the fans have for Craig Jones. Every board is filled with comments of respect and despair at the loss of such a talent and such a genuine and friendly person.

Craig will be remembered for many things. He certainly was a rider who could get you on to the edge of your seat with his dramatic, on the edge style which certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Parkalgar the new motor racing circuit in Portugal that owns the Parkalgar Honda World Supersport team, has announced that it will name the most technical and difficult corner on the track after Craig as a mark of respect for their fallen rider. A memorial will also be erected at the circuit allowing visitors to pay their respects to their hero.

Personally this has been a tough article to write, I still find it hard to come to terms that Craig won’t be at Donington in a month, with his beaming smile which could light up the dullest day and his no compromising style pushing the leaders every inch of the way. He truly loved what he did for a living and we loved to watch him. Craig was without doubt going to achieve his ambition of becoming a world champion, but like Craig himself that has now been cruelly taken away.

I’d like to take a moment to spare a thought also for Andrew Pitt, who I’m sure is going through a tough time at present. What happened on Sunday was a tragic accident and there was nothing that anyone could have done to have stopped the accident from happening. I’m sure all the fans would like to offer their support to Andrew Pitt in this tough time as well as honour their fallen idol Jonesy.

I’m not really a religious person, but someone once said to me, that they always take the best ones first. I have to agree, you were one of the best Jonesy. Rider’s like you don’t come along everyday and the World Motorbike scene will be at a loss for your premature passing. You will certainly be missed. Gone but never forgotten.

Everyone at Londonbikers.com would like to offer their heart felt condolences to Craig Jones’ family and friends at this tragic time.

13 Comments

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Foxy | 08 August 2008, 16:08
Neil, what a beautiful piece... A whole biking nation in mourning can read this and feel better about the sad loss we have all felt this week.

RIP Craig...

Jay | 08 August 2008, 17:26
Wow, Neil, that's a wonderful article and a very fitting one to communicate the wonder of Jones' riding style. What better way to say thank-you and good-bye to one of this nations finest young sportsmen.

It's been very difficult for all of us here to comes to term with, like everyone else, I'm sure. I had tears in my eyes when we were publishing the news story and photo-galleries from the event that we dedicated to him. I have no idea how Donington is going to feel in a few weeks.

PJ | 08 August 2008, 17:34
A lovely piece Neil, well done sir.
I fitting tribute to an amazing young talent.

RIP Jonesy

CJN_r6 | 08 August 2008, 23:38
Great article Neil. I met jonesy thursday at brands. He was such a nice guy and had time for all his fans. He was one of the most naturally gifted and talented racers iv ever seen and was definately a future world champion. He will be sorely missed by everyone. RIP JONESY

ballymoney fan | 10 August 2008, 00:17
i am from northern ireland and have followed all types of racing since working with robert dunlop in 1986.that led me to follow bikes as that is all robert talked about and started to follow the dunlops and road racing.this led me to bsb,wsb,moto gp and havent looked back since,i have followed world supersport since Jonathan Rea started and all I seem to see at the front was bike number 18 no doubt he would've been a champion and I hope that Andrew Pitt/Jonathan Rea goes on and wins the world champion in memory of Craig sometimes this beautiful sport can be so cruel full sympathy To Craigs family / Adrian ps andrew pitt should not stop what he loves doing it was an accident

steveCBR11XX | 11 August 2008, 06:23
very well said, still cant believe jonesy boys gone, 23 is far too young RIP craig and godspeed

dusty | 11 August 2008, 08:23
rip jonesy.........we will miss you ......say hi to dj.hissy.bazza

Afro | 12 August 2008, 14:13
RIP Jonesy...Still so hard to take in :(

visual | 16 August 2008, 12:54
R.I.P JONESY......FROM FIJI

arjet | 19 August 2008, 06:25
RIP. CRAIG JONES
from Indonesia

speedystill | 09 September 2008, 00:15
The price you pay is very high
You never think your going to die
The speed, the buzz, crowds flashing by
And for just one moment, you actually fly

It's all gone wrong and you hit the floor
The lucky ones just come out sore
Then like a drug, you just want more
You race again to get your score

But weep so deeply for the very few!
Who never really make it through
There time is up! They race no more
Lying motionless on the cold hard floor
The muted crowd, the silenced roar

A racer gives his very soul
To grab the prestigeous place called pole!
If he could return to hear crowds sing
He would'nt change a bloody ! thing !

He's given his life ! His very soul
Rest assured he's up there, racing still ! for pole !!


I know the pain of racing, I write from the heart
RIP

wizardfire | 16 October 2008, 22:18
I read this with a lump in my throat, well written and so true of the man jonesy, i was at brands hatch last sunday and i must admit i welled up then and you could sense that other bikers did too, craig jones was a star on the bike and i loved to watch him and will miss that intense excitement when he was behind those bars twisting the throttle weaving around every corner.
R.I.P craig may the angels above let you ride their bike through the gates of heaven...........a true champion

STEVE JONES | 20 October 2008, 21:41
Hi Neil
Just wanted to say a massive "thank you" from Myself,Yvonne,Karen and our families for the lovely words, with regard to the tragic loss of our son Craig.
The support we have recieved from the biking community with thousands of messages of sympathy, has left us totally overwhelmed and given us the strength to carry on as Craig would have wanted.
We were always proud of "our boy" not only through his racing exploits,but more so with the manner in which he lived.His zest for life was was out there for all to see,and as has been said , he wore his heart on his sleeve. He was born to entertain us all and in that i think he did a bloody good job.We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives,but we will smile,because his spirit will always be with us all.
Best regards to all
Steve Jones
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