Jack leaves it late to score a superb podium in the Czech Republic.
Jack has used a brilliant late-race attack to secure his third premier-class podium finish, coming home third in the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno on Sunday.
From Friday practice, when he was third on the timesheets, Jack was at the sharp end of the field all weekend at Brno, qualifying second in difficult half-wet/half-dry conditions on Saturday for his best qualifying result this year, and his best since starting second at Misano last September.
After the race was delayed for more than half an hour following a brief downpour before the pits opened, Jack recovered from a difficult getaway when the lights went out to climb to third after the first lap, behind pole-sitter Marc Marquez (Honda) and fellow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. Jack was then passed by Alex Rins (Suzuki) on lap three, the front-running quartet quickly opening up a gap of more than four seconds from fifth-placed Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) after eight laps of the 20-lap race distance.
Jack stayed in fourth for the majority of the race, and a second podium this season to add to his third place at Austin in April looked a tall order when Rins opened up a gap of eighth-tenths of a second with five laps remaining. But Jack had preserved his hard front/soft rear tyre combination perfectly, taking 0.3secs out of Rins’ advantage with three laps left, and passing him at Turn 5 on the penultimate lap to grab third place.
Jack crossed the line 1.361secs ahead of Rins at the flag, and finished just over a second behind Dovizioso in second place, neither Ducati rider able to prevent Marquez from extending his championship lead with a sixth victory of the season, the Spaniard beating Dovizioso by 2.452secs.
Third is by far Jack’s best MotoGP result at Brno; 12th last year was the best he’d previously managed.
“This is definitely the better one, that’s for sure,” Jack said when asked how this podium compared to Austin.
“It was nice to fight there at the end. I felt I stayed rather calm. I saw Rins was spinning quite a lot the rear tyre, so I bided my time and waited. He was really struggling up Horsepower Hill, he was spinning a long way up the hill, so that’s when I decided to pass him. I had to be patient and take my time.
“The front tyre was probably my greatest downfall, we were having dramas the whole weekend and I hadn’t ridden on the hard all weekend. It was the first time I’d ridden on it, in the race. Thanks to the team, we’ve been pushing really hard over the last couple of Grands Prix so it’s really nice to stand in parc ferme.”
Jack boosted his 2019 points tally to 86 to remain in seventh place in the championship after 10 races, and as the leading Independent Team Rider over Cal Crutchlow (Honda), who was fifth at Brno. He now sits just five points behind Maverick Vinales (fifth in the championship) and four behind Rossi (sixth) with half the season in the books.
Jack will stay at Brno to take part in the official MotoGP one-day test on Monday; the next race comes on Sunday August 11 at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Full race results from Brno can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Pramac Racing.