Jack looks to build on a solid start to 2017 at one of the calendar’s newest circuits.
Race: Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina
Round: 2 of 18
Date/time: Sunday April 9, 4pm local (5am Monday April 10 AEST)
Circuit: Termas de Rio Hondo: 14 corners, clockwise
Distance/laps: 4.8km, 25 laps
2016 podium: Marquez-Rossi-Pedrosa
Jack’s world championship results in Argentina
2016 (MotoGP): qualified 15th, did not finish
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 21st, finished 12th
2014 (Moto3): qualified 1st, finished 3rd
Preview: Last year in Argentina wasn’t short on drama; concerns over the durability of Michelin’s tyres saw the race reduced from 25 laps to a 20-lap flag-to-flag fight, with riders having to change bikes halfway through. Unfortunately Jack didn’t make it that far, crashing on lap four from sixth place after storming through from 15th on the grid, passing the Yamaha of reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo along the way. Jack had a strong start to his third MotoGP campaign with eighth first time out in Qatar a fortnight ago, and has both a pole and a podium on his Argentina CV, starting first and finishing third on his maiden visit to Termas in Moto3 three years ago.
Jack says: “Qatar was a good start to the season and I was happy with the result. We head to Argentina looking to improve on a track that should be a good match for our bike. We’ve been getting better and better each time we get out on the bike and I’m confident we can continue that at the next two races in Argentina and Austin, two tracks I enjoy racing at a lot. Termas is a circuit that doesn’t see much use, so some caution is required on Friday when the track can be a little dirty, but it doesn’t usually take long to clean up. I’m looking forward to the weekend, they always put on a bit of a special show for the race in Argentina.”
Hot spot: The hairpin at the end of the back straight at Turn 5 is one, but for sheer drama, the penultimate corner, Turn 13, is the spot to watch. The slow bend that precedes the short flick into Turn 14 before crossing the finish line has decided plenty of races in the three years this track has been on the calendar, and who can forget Andrea Iannone taking out his Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso on the last lap of the MotoGP race last year as they contested second place?
Argentina fast fact: Even getting to the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in northwest Argentina is a victory of sorts for the teams and riders. From most parts of Europe, it’s at least a 12-hour flight to Buenos Aires, another two-hour flight to reach the closest airport to the circuit in Tucuman, and then another hour-long drive to reach the track in the town of the same name.
Jack in the world championship: 8th with 8 points.
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday April 10 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.