Jack produces a stunning lap in sketchy conditions to take top spot in qualifying

Jack has broken through for his maiden MotoGP pole position, the Australian surviving a couple of massive moments to steal top spot for the Argentinian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Alma Pramac Racing Ducati rider made a brave choice to fit slick tyres on a Termas de Rio Hondo surface still damp in parts from patchy rain, and was rewarded on his final lap with a time of 1min 47.153secs, finishing 0.177secs ahead of Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. Yamaha’s Johann Zarco rounded out the front row of the grid.

Jack advanced directly into Q2 after his efforts in Friday practice, with any improvements on those times impossible after wet weather in FP3. After his first run on wet-weather tyres, Jack rolled the dice and fitted soft front and medium rear Michelin slick tyres midway through the Q2 session. While he was beneath the provisional pole position time on his second and third flying laps, the third sector of the lap, with puddles still on the racing line at Turns 7-8, saw him struggling to stay on the bike and failing to improve his time.

Jack steeled himself and went for it on his final lap, nearly high-siding through the treacherous third sector, but continuing to push the limits. His reward was a session-best final sector that was more than half a second faster than he’d achieved previously, paving the way for his landmark pole.

On the weekend of his 50th MotoGP start, Jack was understandably ecstatic.

“It was a big gamble, that’s for sure,” he grinned.

“But I remember when (Khairul Idham) Pawi won here in Moto3 (2016) and how much grip this track has in the wet. The rest of the track was more or less dry, so as long as I could keep it on the dry line, I’d be OK. But Turns 7-8 were so slippery. The lap before was probably a quicker lap but I nearly went over, I touched the gas minutely which I couldn’t do, I just had to coast through there in the wet part.

“I’m hoping tomorrow we can get a good start from the pole and stay with these front guys. They’ve got some speed in the dry, so hopefully a dry race.”

Full qualifying results from Argentina can be found on motogp.com here.

Photos courtesy of Alma Pramac Racing.