It’s the final European round before the flyaways, and one that comes at a circuit where Jack’s due a change of fortune.
Race: Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon
Round: 14 of 18
Date/time: Sunday September 24, 2pm local (10pm AEST)
Circuit: MotorLand Aragon: 17 corners, anti-clockwise
Distance/laps: 5.1km, 23 laps
2016 podium: Marquez-Lorenzo-Rossi
Jack’s world championship results at Aragon
2016 (MotoGP): did not compete
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 20th, finished 19th
2014 (Moto3): qualified 4th, finished 27th
2013 (Moto3): qualified 20th, finished 13th
2012 (Moto3): qualified 23rd, finished 19th
Preview: After a lean patch, Jack burst back to form with a superb sixth place last time out at Misano, when he stormed through from 14th on the grid in treacherous conditions to score 10 precious points. Aragon, site of this weekend’s final round before the three-pronged flyaway races that includes Australia, isn’t likely to feature as much rain, but the weather can close in here, as it memorably did in 2014 in a crazy race where the likes of Rossi, Marquez, Pedrosa and Dovizioso all crashed. Thunderstorms are forecast for Friday practice this week. Jack missed Aragon altogether last year as he elected to sit out to let multiple fractures in his right hand heal before the Japan-Australia-Malaysia triple-header, a decision that paid dividends when he recorded top-10 finishes at Phillip Island and Sepang. Jack’s most notable moment at Aragon so far was in his Moto3 title-contending year of 2014, when he clashed with championship rival Alex Marquez on lap four and was sent tumbling. In four races at the circuit, he’s managed just three points.
Jack says: “Aragon is a track I like, but not necessarily one where I’ve had the best results in the past. Although I missed this race through injury last year, I think it’s a track that should suit our Honda RC213V, and I’m looking forward to the last European race before we head away overseas for the races in Japan, Malaysia and my home Grand Prix in Australia. I feel good and I’m ready to push for some good results in the last quarter of the season, starting this weekend.”
Hot spot: Jack might nominate Turn 17, the uphill final corner, for reasons we’ve discussed above, while Turn 12 (at the end of the sweeping run through 11) and Turn 15 (the abrupt left-hander before the long back straight) see their fair share of action, too.
Aragon fast fact: The undulating circuit features a 50-metre difference in elevation change between its lowest points (at the end of the back straight) and its highest, at Turn 7.
Jack in the world championship: 13th with 53 points.
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday September 25 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.