Mark Jones on THAT podium 21 years ago!

Going back twenty-one years ago to 1999 and Mark Jones was contesting the 250cc World Championship against a stacked field and some big names in the form of Bolley, Beirer, Vuillemin, Hughes and Bervoets to name just a few – the field was deep full of talent.

Welsh talent, Mark Jones ended up twelfth in the World Championship standings that year beating some big names – Crockard, Jorgensen, Pichon to name a few. It all clicked for Jones at the Czech round of the series as he got on the podium with a third overall. It ended up being the only GP podium visit of his career – a truly special day.

“I had two pretty decent starts that day, I remember it being pretty manic the first few laps but I made quick passes and just rode my own race, I think I had a 4th & 6th. As I crossed the line after the second moto, the team were jumping up and down as I pulled in, I knew I’d had a good ride but didn’t expect the podium. Riku Vaahtera my mechanic threw his arms around me and shouted “podium, podium”, for him to get excited was pretty special as he was usually as cool as a cucumber (laughs). The feeling of jumping on the podium with two guys I looked up to when I was in the youth ranks was something else, a Welsh farm boy standing with two French legends”, Jones told GateDrop.com.

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“I must say I am very proud of it, sharing the podium with Fred Bolley and David Vuillman in my first full GP season, plus beating people such as Beirer, Bervoets, Hughes, Maschio, Jorgenson, Coppins, Pichon plus other greats was something else.”, added Jones. 

Another round that went well for Jones that year was in Germany – the last round of the series for him as he didn’t travel to America for the last round. In Germany he just missed the podium – it would have been a 1-2-3 for his team as his two team mates made the podium, that would have been special but it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s still amazing memories for the Welsh rider to reflect on when he looks back on his career.

“Obviously the Czech GP with my podium was amazing but the round in Germany at Gaildorf 99 (4th overall) it just felt like I couldn’t put a foot wrong I suppose. I almost had another podium that weekend but missed out by a point or two, it would have been a Radson Honda clean sweep with Everts, Bolley and myself passing people like Bervoets, Jorgenson, Pichon and Maschio, guys I’d watched at home when I was 13, 14 years old and I’d just smoked by them and left them, I’ve had other really good rides but those two stand out for me”, concluded Jones. 

Article: Andy McKinstry