Jack reflects on his best result in Germany, and why caution was the name of the game in an all-Ducati fight in the final laps of the race.
Sixth in Germany is a pretty good result for me at a track that I like, but not one that I’ve had a whole lot of good results at since I’ve been in MotoGP. But sixth when you start fifth is a bit frustrating … I wanted more and I felt like I had more, but I wasn’t able to show it today. For a few reasons.
I spent the back half of the race in a fight that had Danilo (Petrucci) and ‘Dovi’ (Andrea Dovizioso) along with some other guys, but I was thinking mostly about those two guys because of the bike they’re riding (and the one I’m riding). When you’re fighting with two other guys on Ducatis … it’s like going to a gunfight, but not being allowed to use your gun. I didn’t want to do anything silly, so I tried to keep my nose clean as best I could. You’re fighting your instincts, because the last thing you want to do is screw up another Ducati rider’s race. I had a few opportunities to pass but I didn’t take them, and I was kind of letting them make their mistakes and trying to benefit from them if they happened. They both ran wide at the first corner with three laps to go and I was able to sneak up to fourth for a few corners, but sixth in the end was what it was.
The other reason I was maybe being a bit cautious was that I was on the soft rear tyre for the race, so I didn’t want to go over the edge by pushing it too hard. Only four of us used the soft and it was hard to know how much I had left as the others using it were well behind me by that stage, so I had no reference, plus I was getting mixed signals from the back of the bike with how much tyre I actually had left. I made a good start but there was no way I was going to last the end of the race if I tried to keep up that pace for 30 laps, that wasn’t my fight to be in today.
Sachsenring is a particular sort of track, with all the left-hand corners and ups and downs. I normally like the track and have done pretty well at it, it’s definitely not everyone’s favourite but I usually enjoy it. All weekend I felt pretty strong, made Q2 pretty comfortably and was the best-placed Ducati for a lot of it at a track that doesn’t really suit our bike. So to get another top six for the season – that’s five in nine races now – and get back in front of the independent riders’ championship is really good. That’s the main goal now for the rest of the season, try to win that. If I do that, it’ll be because I’ve got some solid top-five, top-six results right the way through to Valencia. We’ve got some tracks coming up where the Ducati has shone in the past, so that should definitely help.
One thing that still hasn’t happened – yet – is an announcement of what I’ll be doing in 2020. Hopefully we can run a line through the contract stuff in the summer break or soon after it. We all know what I want and we’re just negotiating small things now, so it’s more or less done. Just hasn’t been tied up just yet … but it’s coming.
My parents have been over for the last two races at Assen and here, and I’m going to use the break between here and Brno to get home to Australia for a little bit just to reset for the second half of the season and get ready to push on for those last 10 races. I’ll speak to you once I’m back in Europe.
Photos courtesy of Pramac Racing