Jack leads at Phillip Island in a brilliant comeback from injury before finishing seventh.
Jack has made a spectacular return to the world championship, the Australian finishing seventh at his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Sunday after leading for the first five laps of the race.
Just three weeks after he broke his right leg in a training accident while out riding in his European base of Andorra, Jack started from an equal career-best fifth on the grid on Saturday, and made a brilliant start to storm past pole-sitter Marc Marquez (Honda) into the first corner.
With his home crowd roaring its approval, Jack stayed at the front of the field for the opening five laps before being passed by Yamaha pair Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales on the start-finish straight, but hung on gamely in an eight-rider group that broke away from the pack under unusually sunny skies at the Island.
Tyre wear caused Jack to drop his pace as the race counted down to its 27-lap conclusion, and while he made one final push to overhaul Cal Crutchlow (Honda) on the final lap, a big moment at Turn 2 on the worn left-hand side of the tyre saw him abandon any aspirations of matching his season-best results of sixth at Assen and Misano, finishing just five seconds behind Marquez for arguably his most convincing dry-weather premier-class display yet.
“It was great feeling to be leading my home race, but maybe going hard early hurt me later in the race with rear grip when I had to switch engine maps,” he said afterwards.
“It would have been nice to be able to push a bit harder at the end of the race, but it was a solid weekend considering my injury. Starting fifth and finishing seventh in front of my home fans, I’m happy with that.”
With the result, Jack moves to 12th in the world championship with 65 points, setting a new single-season high for points in the top class with two races remaining.
Jack will be back on track at Sepang in Malaysia next weekend, with the final race of the season set for Valencia on Sunday November 12.
Full race results from Australia can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.