Jack’s back at the scene of his greatest career success at one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar.
Race: Motul TT Assen
Round: 8 of 18
Date/time: Sunday June 25, 1pm local (9pm AEST)
Circuit: TT Circuit Assen: 18 corners, clockwise
Distance/laps: 4.5km, 26 laps
2016 podium: Miller-Marquez-Redding
Jack’s world championship results at Assen
2016 (MotoGP): qualified 18th, finished 1st
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 20th, did not finish
2014 (Moto3): qualified 1st, did not finish
2013 (Moto3): qualified 14th, finished 7th
2012 (Moto3): qualified 33rd, did not finish
Preview: For the first time in his MotoGP career, Jack returns to a circuit as the defending race winner after last year’s stunning breakthrough at Assen. Jack’s mastery of dreadful conditions to come through from 18th on the grid to win a race that was red-flagged halfway through has been (and will be) discussed plenty this week, but for the 22-year-old, it’s a chance to get his 2017 season back on track that he’s most looking forward to. After soldiering on through injury at Le Mans in May, Jack has had an injury-affected run to 15th at Mugello in Italy before falling last time out in Catalunya when he was running inside the top 10 halfway through the race. A post-race test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has him in better shape, and he’ll be keen to address what is actually a pretty underwhelming record at Assen; he’s finished just twice there in five world championship starts, even if last year’s result makes that record look a whole lot better …
Jack says: “Obviously I’ve got some decent memories of Assen, after standing on the top step of a MotoGP podium for the first time there last year, and I’m looking forward to this year’s race. We go to the Netherlands after a solid weekend in Barcelona that was spoilt only by the crash in the race. I like the Assen track and I think we can do a good job there, we just need to keep working in the same way we’ve done since the start of the season. Conditions will be cooler than the last two races, but I don’t think that will make a big difference, but rain could shake things up a bit. It might be summer, but this is Assen we’re talking about, so the weather can change in an instant. We’re ready whatever it throws at us.”
Hot spot: Where else but the final sequence of corners, the Geert Timmer chicane? Jack passed Marc Marquez there to take the lead of a MotoGP race for the first time last year, while the chicane has been a place where many a rider has made themselves a hero – or zero – with a last-lap lunge over the years. We’ll be mildly astonished if Sunday’s Moto3 race isn’t decided here on the final lap of the 22-lap journey.
Assen fast fact: Because of this year’s TT Assen calendar clash with the Formula One Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, the MotoGP race will be the second of the three world championship classes raced on Sunday, and will start an hour earlier than usual for Australian audiences at 9pm AEST.
Jack in the world championship: 13th with 30 points.
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday June 26 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.