Grip issues thwart Jack’s progress after he made a strong start in Malaysia.
Jack has battled with rear grip issues after a speedy start to finish eighth at Sepang in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, which was won by world champion Marc Marquez (Honda).
Starting from fifth on the grid, Jack made a strong getaway and slotted into third at the first corner behind Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Johann Zarco, but dropped a spot to Marquez at the final corner on the next lap to fall to fourth.
Jack was the only rider in the 23-strong field to race with the medium-compound Michelin rear tyre, and found grip to be at a premium early after setting his fastest lap of the race on lap three. He dropped places to Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso on lap four, as well as Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Suzuki’s Alex Rins on lap six, to sit in seventh after eight laps.
After being overtaken by Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales under brakes at Turn 9 on lap 9, Jack spent the majority of the second half of the 20-lap race in eighth place before fellow Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista passed him with five laps left. He regained eighth when Rossi fell from the lead at Turn 1 on lap 17, Jack finishing 19.009secs behind Marquez, three seconds behind Bautista in seventh, and three seconds ahead of Alma Pramac Racing teammate Danilo Petrucci in ninth.
Jack was the third independent bike home, behind Zarco (third) and Bautista, while Alma Pramac Racing secured the Independent Team title with 15 points between Jack and Petrucci.
“We chose to use the medium tyre at the rear to try to do something different than the others, but we didn’t get the results we hoped for,” Jack said afterwards.
“From the beginning, I felt a lot of vibrations that didn’t allow me to have a competitive race pace. Honestly I expected more from this race.”
With one race of 2018 remaining at Valencia in Spain on November 18, Jack sits in 13th place overall and has 91 points in the riders’ standings.
Full race results from Malaysia can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Alma Pramac Racing.