Jack surges forward as drizzle dusts Assen to score 10 precious world championship points.
A superbly measured ride in changeable conditions has seen Jack finish a season-best sixth in the Dutch TT at Assen on Sunday.
Back at the circuit where he broke through for a memorable first MotoGP win 12 months ago, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider kept his head and moved forwards as conditions became trickier in the latter half of the race, finishing 23.3 seconds behind race-winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha).
Starting from 13th on the grid, Jack jumped past Honda’s Dani Pedrosa to claim 11th on lap two, and spent the next five laps in that position. He advanced another position when series leader Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) crashed at the final corner on lap 12, and when Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista fell on lap 18, Jack was entrenched inside the top 10.
With eight laps remaining, spots of rain began to fall across the Assen circuit, and Jack came into his own, quickly moving past Scott Redding (Ducati) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) into seventh, which became sixth when pole-sitter Johann Zarco pitted to change bikes with six laps remaining.
From there, Jack was under little pressure from behind and had become detached from the leading group, crossing the line 18 seconds behind fifth-place finisher and new championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), and 13 seconds clear of Ducati’s Karel Abraham in seventh.
“The first lap was not good, from my grid position I got stuck on the outside through all the right-hand corners and lost time, but once the group flattened out I got up to tenth in a group with Dani and Cal (Crutchlow),” Jack said after the race.
“I was a having nice fight with Dani and then the rain came. I kept my pace to keep temperature in the slick tyres and pushed through to sixth. With more risks I might have been able to challenge for the podium but I wanted the points, this was a good result for me. I never thought about changing bikes, there wasn’t enough rain for wet weather tyres.”
Ten world championship points sees Jack take his 2017 tally to 40, and he moves up two places to 11th overall ahead of the next round of the championship at the Sachsenring in Germany next Sunday.
Full race results from Assen can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.