Jack soldiers on under duress for a superb eighth in an action-packed French Grand Prix.
Jack has pushed through the pain barrier to finish a remarkable eighth in a drama-packed French Grand Prix at the Le Mans circuit on Sunday afternoon.
Riding with right knee and right hand injuries sustained after a terrifying crash in FP4 on Saturday afternoon, Jack’s fourth top-10 result of the year equalled his eighth place in the Qatar season-opener as his best result of 2017 to date, and could barely have come in more difficult circumstances.
Jack qualified in 11th place on Saturday after bravely getting back on the bike after his horrendous accident in the final practice session, his Honda left in pieces after it speared towards the inside fence on the way to the chicane at Turn 3. He picked up two places off the start into the same corner on Sunday, and spent the opening nine laps in a fairly lonely ninth place as the final rider in a group that broke away at the front.
Jack inherited eighth on lap seven when Scott Redding (Ducati) retired with a mechanical failure, but as he dealt with his right knee injury, dropped spots to Ducati riders Jorge Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci to fall to 10th at the halfway mark of the 28-lap race.
He found himself back in eighth three laps later when Petrucci retired on the same lap Marc Marquez (Honda) crashed out, and Jack looked set to finish ninth after Jonas Folger (Yamaha) came through five laps from the end.
The race had another dramatic twist though; while fighting for the win with teammate Maverick Vinales, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi crashed out with three corners remaining on the final lap. Rossi’s demise meant Jack inherited eighth as he finished 32.603secs behind Vinales, who took his third victory for the season and reclaimed the championship lead.
“I was a little fortunate today with some other riders having problems, but in racing you have to be in it at the finish to get the best result, and that’s what we did,” Jack said afterwards.
“Considering my physical condition I think I rode a good race despite struggling to pick the bike up on corner exit. I’m happy to be back in the top 10 both in the race and the points, but it’s only early in the season so there’s still a lot of work to do. I had a good weekend going until my crash, so now I’ll go home and rest my body.”
Thanks to a courageous ride, Jack moves up two spots to 10th in the world championship with 29 points ahead of the next race at Mugello in Italy in a fortnight’s time.
Full race results from France can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.