Hopes are high for the annual trip to the ‘Cathedral’, Jack’s most successful MotoGP track.
Race: Motul TT Assen
Round: 8 of 19
Date/time: Sunday June 30, 2pm local (10pm AEDT)
Circuit: TT Circuit Assen: 18 corners, clockwise
Distance/laps: 4.5km, 26 laps
2018 podium: Marquez-Rins-Vinales
Jack’s world championship results at Assen
2018 (MotoGP): qualified 16th, finished 10th
2017 (MotoGP): qualified 13th, finished 6th
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
Jack’s preview: Jack has made 73 MotoGP starts across 20 circuits in four and a bit seasons since joining the premier class in 2015, but the 41 points he’s scored at Assen represents the greatest haul at any one of those 20 tracks. It’s three years this weekend that Jack broke through for his memorable victory at a rain-lashed Assen in 2016; the two trips to the Netherlands since then have produced top-10 finishes (sixth and 10th) from lowly qualifying performances (13th and 16th). Jack will keen to do better on both Saturday and Sunday this time around, and confidence won’t be in short supply given all four of his race finishes in 2019 have been inside the top five, and he’s made Q2 five times already in seven races. Last year’s Assen race quickly became part of any debate about the best MotoGP race ever after the top eight made more than 100 overtakes between them, with Jack just behind that frantic fight, finishing 13 seconds behind race-winner Marc Marquez. With 53 points, Jack sits sixth in the series standings and is the top independent team rider ahead of the back-to-back weekends at Assen and the Sachsenring, a hair ahead of Yamaha’s star rookie Fabio Quartararo. Counting against Jack and the other Ducati riders in the field? The Italian manufacturer hasn’t won at the northern-most circuit on the calendar since 2008, Casey Stoner’s sole MotoGP victory at Assen.
Jack says: “The finishing rate this year has been top five or zero, so we’ll try make it a top five this weekend rather than a zero. Every time we get to about a week away (from Assen), all I get tagged in on Instagram is me drinking out of my boot (from 2016) so it’s pretty good. It’s a track I’ve had success at in the past and I’ve always been pretty quick here, so I like it a lot. Last year was an awesome race, we were just hanging off the back of the group, couldn’t quite bridge the gap, but I got to watch it all unfold. I had front-row tickets so hopefully this year we can be involved in it and rub some paint.”
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday July 1 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Pramac Racing