Jack back in the fight after a strong showing at Phillip Island.
Jack has taken the momentum from his career-best qualifying of fifth place to take a top-10 finish in the Australian Grand Prix, the Marc VDS rider finishing in 10th place after 27 frantic laps of the Phillip Island circuit on Sunday.
The result is Jack’s third top-10 finish of the 2016 season, and comes as a welcome relief after not scoring since the Sachsenring in July, a span of six races, four of which he missed with injury.
Jack was superb in the changeable weather that hit the Island on Friday and Saturday, finishing third in opening practice, second to world champion Marc Marquez in FP3, and then fifth in qualifying after making Q2 for the second time in his career, surpassing his previous best of 12th on the grid at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in September.
Jack was embroiled in a seven-bike fight for seventh place for the majority of Sunday’s race, and while he started the final lap in eighth, he was pipped at the post by Yamaha’s Bradley Smith and Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, the trio flashing across the line separated by three-hundredths of a second, but Jack unfortunately at the back of the three riders.
Sunday’s is Jack’s best MotoGP finish at home, surpassing his 15th place last season, and he finished 28 seconds behind the race-winner, fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow.
“I think that’s what you call a heavy battle!” Jack said afterwards.
“It was an intense race and I enjoyed it. It got a bit scary at times because you have no idea who is going to lunge up the inside from one corner to the next. Going into Doohan Corner at over 330km/h it was getting a bit crazy because it was a case of who dared brake the latest. It was a lot of fun and good to have a good old-fashioned scrap, because it helped me learn a lot.
“The important thing was to finish with some decent points and I did that. I also think the home fans could see how determined I was to put on a good show for them and they definitely got good value for money from us.
“I felt I could have been in a better position after qualifying in fifth, but I got a bit messed up on the last lap. I took a risk to race the hard front Michelin tyre and I’d not done one flying lap with that option before the lights went out. But it was the rear tyre that was causing me a few issues because I had a few moments. I was losing the rear on entry and ran wide a few times, but I’m happy with a top 10.”
Jack will immediately head to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the second-last Grand Prix of the season, to be held at Sepang next Sunday.
Full race results from Australia can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.