Jack’s back from his broken leg at a circuit he holds dear – and where he has a strong recent record.
Race: Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Round: 16 of 18
Date/time: Sunday October 22, 4pm local
Circuit: Phillip Island: 12 corners, anti-clockwise
Distance/laps: 4.4km, 27 laps
2016 podium: Crutchlow-Rossi-Vinales
Jack’s world championship results in Australia
2016 (MotoGP): qualified 5th, finished 10th
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 15th, finished 15th
2014 (Moto3): qualified 8th, finished 1st
2013 (Moto3): qualified 10th, finished 5th
2012 (Moto3): qualified 23rd, finished 21st
2011 (125cc): qualified 28th, finished 23rd
Preview: Jack’s back – and not a moment too soon, as the third-last round of the 2017 campaign takes place in his ‘backyard’ at Phillip Island. As it happens, Jack has probably raced less at the Victorian coastal circuit than many of his international rivals, but it’s a track he loves riding on and being around for the weekend, with friends and family from all over Australia and New Zealand cheering him on. The sweeping curves of one of the world’s most revered tracks will be a stern test for Jack’s right tibia, fractured in a trails bike accident in Andorra earlier this month. He missed last weekend’s Japanese GP at Motegi, but is confident he’s ready to take on the Island. Jack has an Australian world championship win on his CV, his breathtaking last-lap victory in Moto3 in 2014, while he’s managed points in both home races in the premier class, qualifying a MotoGP career-best fifth here a year ago. Finishing 14th or better on Sunday will see Jack set a new high for points scored in a season; he has 56 points to sit 13th in this year’s championship, after scoring 57 a year ago.
Hot spot: It has to be Turn 4, Honda Corner, and not just because an army of Miller fans will be situated in their customary position on the outside of the turn, clad in orange. Turn 4, particularly late in the race as the local time ticks towards 5pm, frequently plays havoc with the cool right-hand side of the tyre as wear rates increase and the track temperature plummets. Front-end crashes will happen, it’s just a matter of how many …
Phillip Island fast fact: Four sections of the Island circuit are named after Australian two and four-wheel luminaries – the Gardner Straight (start-finish straight), Doohan Corner (Turn 1), Stoner Corner (Turn 3) and Lukey Heights (Turn 9), honouring 1959 Australian Drivers’ Championship winner and former circuit owner Len Lukey.
Jack in the world championship: 13th with 56 points.
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday October 23 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS and Red Bull Content Pool.