It’s typically been either feast or famine for Jack at Le Mans; what’s in store this weekend?
Race: HJC Helmets Grand Prix of France
Round: 5 of 18
Date/time: Sunday May 21, 2pm local (10pm AEST)
Circuit: Le Mans: 14 corners, clockwise
Distance/laps: 4.2km, 28 laps
2016 podium: Lorenzo-Rossi-Vinales
Jack’s world championship results at Le Mans
2016 (MotoGP): qualified 18th, did not finish
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 18th, did not finish
2014 (Moto3): qualified 2nd, finished 1st
2013 (Moto3): qualified 6th, finished 12th
2012 (Moto3): qualified 22nd, did not finish
Preview: The stop-start Bugatti circuit layout of the famed Le Mans track awaits the riders this weekend, with extra intrigue coming with the new track surface that was laid earlier this year, and tested by several teams ahead of the last round at Jerez. Le Mans has proven to be hit or miss for Jack; his 2014 Moto3 win in France was one of his more memorable (and not just for his post-race breakdancing in the gravel trap), but both visits on MotoGP machinery have started and ended the same way – 18th on the grid and a non-finish. Getting his consistent points-scoring run that was interrupted at Jerez last time out will be the aim.
Jack says: “I’m feeling really positive, as we had good pace in Jerez before I was taken out of the race. We also found a few more things during the post-race test on Monday, which was good for us. We learnt a lot during the wet test with Michelin at Valencia that could help us this weekend at Le Mans, where the weather is typically unpredictable this early in the year. Since then I’ve been able to do some solid training at home and I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead in France where, hopefully, we can rediscover our pace from Jerez.”
Hot spot: The chicanes at Turns 3-4 and 9-10 are where plenty of races have been made – or adversely affected – over the years. Add that to the forecast that rain is scheduled to fall on all three days of the race weekend, and the opening and closing laps could be even more manic than usual.
Le Mans fast fact: The Bugatti circuit layout is a 4.2km section of the 38-turn 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe track used for the venerable Le Mans 24 Hour endurance car race, set to take place this year from June 17-18.
Jack in the world championship: 12th with 21 points.
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday May 22 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.