A circuit that plays more to Ducati’s strengths than Misano awaits Jack and the pack for this week’s back-to-back at Aragon.
Race: Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon
Round: 14 of 19
Date/time: Sunday September 22, 1pm local (10pm AEDT)
Circuit: MotorLand Aragon: 17 corners, anti-clockwise
Distance/laps: 5.1km, 23 laps
2018 podium: Marquez-Dovizioso-Iannone
Jack’s world championship results at Aragon
2018 (MotoGP): qualified 10th, finished 9th
2017 (MotoGP): qualified 13th, finished 13th
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
Jack’s preview: The final European back-to-back race of the season comes at Aragon, just a week and 1600km away from last Sunday’s race at Misano, where Jack banked seven points for finishing in ninth place. It was a result that owed itself more to one outstanding lap than any underlying gains in pace; Jack finished 15th, 16th and 16th in the three practice sessions and qualified a season-worst 16th, but made a superb start to gain seven places on the first lap to retain his 100 per cent record of top-10 finishes this season. All nine of Jack’s finishes this season have been ninth or better, while ninth, coincidentally, is where he came home at Aragon 12 months ago. The longer straights of Aragon should play more to the Ducati’s strengths than the thin, twisty Misano layout last weekend, where Jack never felt comfortable with grip and was in tyre management mode from the outset. Aragon doesn’t have many happy memories for Jack yet – who can forget his Moto3 crash when duelling with Alex Marquez in 2014? – but last year was a step in the right direction, as he made Q2 for the first time at the remote Spanish circuit. With 101 points for the year, a new season-high, Jack sits eighth in the world championship standings after being demoted by Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo at Misano, where the Frenchman also took an 11-point advantage on the independent team rider table, something Jack has targeted topping by the end of 2019. Sunday’s 23-lap race at Aragon will be held at the slightly earlier time of 1pm local (9pm AEST), to avoid a schedule clash with the Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore.
Jack says: “I’m definitely looking forward to Aragon this weekend to try to get back towards the front of the pack. (Misano) was honestly one of the toughest weekends in a long while … we struggled with all the tyres we tried. I was happy to get home with some more points on the board and finally reached my long-time goal of hitting 100 points.”
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday September 23 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Pramac Racing