Another top-10 result for Jack as he recovers to ninth after a difficult qualifying.
Jack has scored his sixth consecutive top-10 finish and his third in a row for the 2018 season, bouncing back after a difficult qualifying to finish ninth at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin on Sunday afternoon.
After a crash in final practice saw Jack have to use his second bike in qualifying, the Alma Pramac Ducati rider couldn’t emerge from a tight Q1 on Saturday, finishing eighth and consigning himself to an 18th-place start, by far his worst qualifying of the season to date. A fast start was crucial to keep his top-10 race run going, and a tight inside line into the signature uphill Turn 1 at the Circuit of the Americas saw Jack vault four places on the opening lap.
Jack hovered around the fringes of the top 10 for the first half of the 20-lap race, and finally broke into the top 10 when Suzuki’s Alex Rins crashed out on lap 11. He was then engaged in a tight battle with former Estrella Galicia Honda teammate Tito Rabat (Ducati) for the remainder of the race, the two riders passing Ducati factory rider Jorge Lorenzo, Jack’s move coming with a decisive push past the three-time MotoGP world champion at Turn 1 with five laps remaining.
Jack climbed to eighth when he passed Rabat with three laps to go, but the Spaniard repaid the favour on the final lap, Jack finishing just a tenth of a second adrift at the flag, and 28 seconds behind race-winner Marc Marquez (Honda), who won his sixth successive race at COTA.
“I am very pleased especially as I was able to recover a lot of positions,” Jack said.
“It’s clear that we can do much better, especially in qualifying, but this is still a good result. After overtaking Lorenzo and Rabat I was convinced that I could easily finish in eighth but I made a small mistake.”
With 26 points from the opening trio of flyaway races, Jack returns to Europe and the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 6 in eighth place in the world championship, and the third independent team rider behind Cal Crutchlow (fourth) and Johann Zarco in fifth.
Full race results from Austin can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Alma Pramac Racing.